Winston escapes scrutiny because of talent

By Spencer Brown

Famous Jameis.

Defending Heisman trophy winner and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston seems to have taken that moniker a bit too far.


In the latest Winston incident, he allegedly jumped on a table in the Florida State student union and yelled an obscene phrase toward women.

Given the current climate of the football world, it probably was not the best timing for an incident like this. Especially since Winston was considered to be a first round draft pick.

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Emphasis on “was considered” a first round draft pick. Reports have surfaced claiming that Winston’s stock is dropping due to character issues.

The yelling of an obscene phrase is just the latest in a year on the big stage for Jameis.

Over the offseason, Winston was caught stealing crab legs out of grocery store.

Not to mention the most important issue during his Florida State career, the sexual assault accusations. He was cleared of any wrongdoing, but you would think Winston would be careful not to draw any more unnecessary negative attention; most importantly, anything that degrades women.

Winston’s most recent actions got him suspended for half of the Clemson game originally, before being upgraded to the entire game (which went into overtime).

Apparently Winston wasn’t notified of the adjustment to his punishment, and appeared on the field in full pads, another attention-drawing move, much to the dismay of his head coach, Jimbo Fisher.

I have to believe that these aren’t calculated moves being made to create the legacy of Jameis. I also have to believe that Jameis is fully aware of what he is doing.

He just doesn’t care.

Jameis Winston has been enabled by the fan base, the media and by his coaching staff to do whatever he wants. Of course, there is no direct proof to solidify that claim, but it’s there.

The proof is right in front of us.

Before sitting out the Clemson game, Winston suited up for every game. Amidst all of the controversy, he remained on the field. In those games, Winston is 16-0.  

Winston delivered an undefeated season. He delivered a Heisman Trophy. He delivered a National Championship. He brought Florida State back to prominence.

For that, he was crowned “Famous Jameis,” and for that he gets a pass.

Jameis sits on a pedestal perched atop college football.

Winston’s passionate, apologetic news conferences following these incidents are more a testament to his understanding the media culture than actual remorse. He’s very intelligent and well-schooled in the public relations game. A skill not afforded to Johnny Manziel.

Manziel did what he wanted, when he wanted and was not as passionate or apologetic as Winston. Johnny Football was still drafted No. 22 in the first round.

So to all the critics (Mel Kiper, Jr.) who have dropped Winston down to the bottom of the first round, I highly doubt his slipping in the draft is a real possibility. Winston is talented and always makes the biggest plays in the biggest games.

So what do we have here?

A fundamental error in the way these star college athletes are handled. In far too many instances, the player is held above the team, above the school and sometimes above the law.

They are given names like Johnny Football and Famous Jameis and elevated to celebrity status. Consequently, just like celebrities, they are able to slither out of trouble with minimal damage done to themselves.

Jameis Winston is just the latest in a long line of players to take the mantle of “most controversial in the game.” More times than not, controversy brings ratings, and controversy brings money.

The truth is, no matter how controversial you are, talent dominates all and winning is most important.

I think Winston was suspended solely because of the recent NFL backlash, not because anyone really felt he deserved it.

Do I think this is the last we’ll hear of Jameis have problems at Florida State? Absolutely not.

Will it affect his chances to play for another national championship, or on Sundays in the near future? Absolutely not.

Spencer is a senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].