College football’s best player?
College football’s best role model?
Not in my opinion.
And not in the opinion of Heisman voters because character is not one of the voting criteria for someone who has to lift an abnormally heavy bronze sculpture of a football player shoving his hand into eternity.
So when Jameis Winston was selected as the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday night in New York I had to cringe.
Winston is not guilty of an alleged sexual assault last year that was resolved roughly five days before the Heisman voting.
Resolved because the Tallahassee Police Department failed to interview key witnesses, used unreliable and incomplete forensic tests and never tested the victim’s blood for the presence of date-rape drugs.
Police didn’t take the victim’s sexual assault kit to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab until 39 days after it was administered.
The victim’s cell phone and social media records were searched but not Winston’s or his two companions.
Oh, and his companions? One stated he went into the room during the sex and the victim yelled at him to get out. He changed that story to say he entered the room during the alleged consensual sex because “he hoped the woman would also have sex with him, something he said had happened in the past when he and Winston brought a woman to the apartment.”
Um, any local parents sending their daughters to Florida State?
Scary to think that only 40 years ago, juries considered being single and on birth control as “unchaste character” and was used against their credibility in rape cases… and submission to physical intimidation was consent.
Now only Florida Gov. Rick Scott can authorize a special prosecutor to review how the case was handled and his office has already deemed the investigation thorough.
Scott is famous for “almost” having a private alligator-hunting trip to raise funds for his 2014 re-election campaign. That pushed the envelope past the normal golfing weekend, concert or deep-sea fishing fundraisers.
So could you imagine what his mostly Florida college alumni voters would think of their Heisman star being a sexual predator?
Citing gaps in the victim’s story, state attorney Willie Meggs said, “I think something happened that night, but whether or not it was to the level we could file a charge, we never got there.”
Police had warned the victim’s attorney, Patricia Carroll, that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needed to think long and hard before proceeding against Winston because she would be raked over the coals and her life would be made miserable.
Carroll stated that she felt like the victim was being prosecuted, not the accused.
The Heisman presenter stated that the trophy signifies great ability, leadership, diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
The Heisman Trust Mission statement is to support amateur athletics, provide greater opportunities to this countries youth and the trophy symbolizes the sense of community responsibility to youth, especially those disadvantage or afflicted.
The Trustees are guided by a devotion to college football and committed to community service and the valued tradition that the Trophy represents.
Cam Newton had legal woes in college and won the 2010 Heisman while being investigated by the NCAA.
Reggie Bush violated NCAA rules in 2005 and won the bronze shell, later having to return it.
The Trust didn’t ask O.J. Simpson to return his, nor did they with Billy Cannon.
Winston proclaims the sex was consensual.
The victim does not.
Winston is the best college football player this season. Not the best 19-year-old.
“Thank God,” Winston said after winning the Heisman. “I am so blessed.”
Well, you know what?
God didn’t vote for the Heisman either.