Shame us Jameis… forcing his coach to take an awful stand.Man this Jamies Winston situation just gets worse and worse. As the biggest game of the season draws near, Jimbo Fisher is standing by his man… and getting killed for it. And I totally understand. Even though Jameis Winston may not have sexually assaulted a female student back in December of 2012 the rest of the country has already passed judgment. Because ever since then whenever Jameis isn’t on a football or baseball field he make an ass out of himself. As a Florida State fan and de facto alum (I was kicked out in 1987) I stick with my team through thick and thin. But every time you get online or pick up a sports section the last year there’s another cringe worthy story about the Heisman Trophy winner. The media feeding frenzy is in full swing. Columnists around the country are all portraying FSU as nothing more than a win at all cost football factory. And it’s really hard to argue with that right now.
But there are some nuances to the story. FSU is supposed conduct a student hearing within 12 months of purported code of conduct violation. They are now making this up as they go along to avoid losing Federal funding. If FSU mishandled the alleged Winston sexual assault they are in violation of Title IX by not providing the alleged victim a chance to voice her complaint. Technically that window for a hearing has closed and whether critics of FSU like it or not, it’s not fair to Winston.
As bad as all the off field incidents involving Jameis Winston look it’s not Jameis Winston’s fault that Tallahassee PD didn’t properly investigate the sexual assault charge. The New York Times then makes the case that Winston and other players received preferential treatment numerous times by Campus and TPD. Certainly there are some situations that make TPD look like a bunch of jock sniffers trying to help the program avoid bad PR. But they also dusted off every cliché a Northeastern elitist could invoke regarding The South’s football obsessed culture. In addition to painting all off duty TPD officers as “in league with FSU Football” since they pull weekends directing traffic or working security, apparently it’s all part of city wide master plan to keep revenue rolling in. According to the NY Times the entire city of Tallahassee is fueled economically by Florida State Football. They are aware it’s the state capital? There are other things going on in Florida’s 7th largest city.
To give you an idea of how slanted or simply out of touch some of this article was, check out a caption reads… “A web page from a booster club called Old School, showing a photograph from a 2012 fund-raiser in which Dennis Jones, right, then the Tallahassee police chief, kicked off the event by firing a shotgun. At left is Paul Phipps, then an assistant athletic director for marketing at F.S.U.”… Firing a shotgun at a booster event? It’s called a shot gun start for a golf tournament. Maybe to some milquetoast who’s never attended a college football game reading his NY Times with his decaf soy latte In Greenwich CT, this may seem incredulous redneck nonsense. To anybody who’s ever played golf, it’s how many charity events are traditionally started.I get it, Jameis looks like just another jerk in the unfortunate long tradition of pampered athletes who gets 4 or 5 strikes only because of their athletic prowess. But he has been suspended for one football game so far this season. That was for yelling obscenities mimicking and viral video. He was suspended by the FSU Baseball team over “Crabgate” for 3 games and he performed 20 hours of community service. Taken in total , should he be kicked off the Seminoles Football team?
The only opinion that matters is that of Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and he’s standing by Jameis Winston. Even with the latest accusations about Winston signing memorabilia for profit. (The NCAA is yet to look into it.) National media can’t understand how Fisher could possibly stand by his QB or believe anything he says. This is more about Jimbo butting heads with Athletic Director Stan Wilcox and interim University President Garnett S. Stokes (who is a woman by the way). They, like most FSU alumni are embarrassed by the whole mess and most likely want Winston off the football team. It was Wilcox and Stokes who over ruled Fisher to suspend Winston for the entire Clemson game and not the first half as Fisher had wanted. This after the obscenity filled rant Jameis made in front of co-eds at the student union.
To me this more about a power play in the athletic department. Fisher feels that the University dropped the ball in the handling of the Winston case and is making him the scapegoat. I wouldn’t be too surprised that no matter how this plays out that Jimbo Fisher leaves the program before his contract runs out. He is under contract thru 2018 and even though he got a raise and extension, he is still barely not one of the top 10 highest paid coaches this year.
Standing by Winston may look bad to the media and fans but to future players who he may recruit to a different program he’s a coach who has his player’s back even under the worst of circumstances.