Florida State’s half-assed attempt at punishing Jameis Wintston is all you need to know.
You remember Jameis, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, who beat the rap on a sexual assault accusation. The prosecutor, William N. Meggs, said that, because of a sloppy police investigation, he didn’t have enough evidence to prove the alleged victim had been raped.
The New York Times did some digging around and determined that, “There was no investigation at all, either by the police or the university.”
“The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser.”
The consensus among most observers is that Winston got the star quarterback of the possible National Championship winner treatment.
Fast forward to Tuesday and Winston is standing on a table in the Florida State student union yelling – well, never mind what he was yelling. It’s a vulgar phrase that shouldn’t be written here and it’s definitely not something that someone recently accused of sexual assault should be saying out loud in a public place.
For that, Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher “suspended” Winston for the first half of Saturday’s game against Clemson.
Late Friday night somebody at FSU wised up and doubled the penalty and said Winston would be benched for the entire game,
One more big opportunity missed by a big time college coach.
Fisher had the chance to send an obviously well-needed message to Winston and a powerful message to the rest of his team.
He could have – should have – suspended Winston for at least three games. It’s these kinds of missed opportunities that lead to the problems that the NFL has been having the last few weeks.
Little or no accountability.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgerson was told by Morgantown police Wednesday that they had a nightclub surveillance video of his best defensive player, cornerback Daryl Worley, putting both his hands on a woman’s throat and throwing her to the ground.
Worley was charged with battery and suspended indefinitely, which apparently means more than half a game.
Holgerson should have kicked Worley off the team.
No second chance.
And when WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck saw that Holgerson wasn’t willing to get rid of him, he should have stepped in and done it himself. And when WVU President Gordon Gee saw that Luck wasn’t willing to do the right thing, he should have kicked Worley out.
The time for second chances is over.
Big time college and professional athletes have obviously not been getting the messages that have (or haven’t) been sent to them.
Token punishments and empty threats aren’t working anymore if they ever did.
And when a player is kicked off for committing a violent crime, other teams need to avoid the temptation to give him that second chance no matter how good he may be.
It’s time for college coaches and administrators to start taking preemptive action. When a high school kid proves he can’t stay out of trouble or do college work, don’t offer him a scholarship.
Or shut up about how you’re trying to clean up college sports.
Pro teams should do what the Philadelphia Eagles did with their All-Pro wide receiver Desean Jackson this Summer after reports surfaced that he was hanging out with gang members in Los Angeles, including two who were suspected of murder.
They released him.
It produced a good bit of whining among the national sports media about how there was no real proof and Jackson hadn’t committed any crimes.
That’s exactly the point. That’s what preemptive means. Nip it in the bud. Don’t draft college players who have criminal pasts or criminal friends.
NFL owners, like the Ravens’ Steve Bisciotti, who, according to ESPN, knew exactly what Ray Rice did in the elevator that night, have to stop hiding behind the commissioner and pushing for leniency and start doing the right thing.
Or just shut up.