David Hale thinks it’s time for Jameis Winston to mature and that yesterday’s embarrassment should serve as a wake up call. With all due respect to David, it’s hard to see the incident serving like that when Winston’s never really been held accountable for much of anything.
In fact, it was just last August when Winston was grilled by reporters about the off-field antics of the previous Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel. Winston joked then that, should he repeat Manziel’s off-field blunders, reporters should smack him in the head with their recorders.
The quote was an early taste of Winston’s gregarious personality and charm that endeared him to the college football world for the next few months. Since allegations of a sexual assault first came to light in November 2013, however, the tone surrounding the star quarterback has changed dramatically.
After an extensive investigation by the Florida state attorney, no charges were brought against Winston for the alleged sexual assault, but the police reports and witness affidavits painted a less-than-favorable picture of the star QB.
During the course of the investigation, reports also surfaced that Winston had been in trouble with police for his role in a BB-gun fight and theft of soda at a local restaurant.
Earlier this month, The New York Times also published a report that another woman had sought counseling after a sexual encounter with Winston. The woman did not suggest a crime had occurred, but she said she was shaken by the experience.
Consequences? Nothing that registers.
It is important to note that, given all that history, Winston has never been arrested. The latest shoplifting incident, which left Winston suspended from Florida State’s baseball team and will require restitution to the supermarket, as well as community service, is the first time the quarterback has faced any significant punishment for his alleged actions.
The school and the community are enablers. Does 20 hours of community service and repaying 32 bucks now serve as a shock to the kid’s system when he’s been allowed to dodge responsibility repeatedly? Color me skeptical.