While Jameis Winston has been doing wonderfully for Florida State on the football field, off of it problems keep coming at an alarming rate. It’s something of double trouble for the Heisman winner, with his disciplinary hearing regarding his sexual escapades and alleged crime, but there’s also the growing autograph scandal which already took out one major player in College Football so far.
According to ESPN sources, Jimbo Fisher asked Jameis Winston about the autographs after the win over Syracuse, and whether or not he was paid to sign memorabilia. Winston answered him that he did not. Fisher went on to tell reporters he isn’t worried about the developing situation. However, the athletic department at Florida State is moving quickly this time, checking what’s exactly the deal with all the authenticated Winston signatures in the possession of JSA.
Todd Gurley is currently suspended as the investigation in whether or not he took money for signing stuff. JSA has more than 500 autographed items by Gurley. They have over 900 authenticated autographs from Winston according to a cursory search, which is now threatening to open another Pandora’s box regarding the Heisman winner, who seems to be doing quite well on the football field despite everything he has on his plate at the moment, juggling the pressures from all directions quite well.
Kids sign things all the time. So what do you want them to do, stop signing stuff? We could make them not have any fans from that standpoint and not sign for anybody. That’s what it’s going to come to, and that’s a shame for college football, that somebody exploits a kid. Now if they’re getting paid for it, then I don’t have any knowledge of that. I don’t believe Jameis did.
And then there’s the other case. The one that according to law enforcement, Winston has done nothing wrong in. But Florida State took a lot of media beating during the development of this case, and due to what’s been happening in the NFL, are possibly setting out to make some sort of statement that they take these things seriously, even if it happens to the most important athlete on campus. They’ll try to determine almost two years after the incident whether or not he violated the school conduct code.
According to a letter sent to Winston (if it’s not fake), four different student conduct codes will be considered as a former Florida Supreme court justice serves as an independent hearing official in the disciplinary meeting. The punishment? That will be completely up to the university, the school president and the board of trustees. The same people who have a national champion in football thanks to Winston (not just him).
It seems that until Winston gets punished for more than one half of football the media won’t let go of any sort of infraction he makes. There will always be rumors circulating around big names. People profit from the fame and the mere suggestion that something wrong happened. Just because the university has been slow to react doesn’t mean there’s a massive cover up conspiracy going on. Yet the court of public opinion works on a different set of rules, and in that arena, you’re often guilty until proven innocent, which sometimes never actually happens.