Did Florida State postpone the sexual assault hearing of Jameis Winston for the single purpose of winning a National Championship? There’s no doubt about it. Did the Tallahassee Police Depart in collusion with the District Attorney’s Office drop the original charges against Winston, making him eligible to play for the Seminoles? The evidence would say yes. The hearing will not occur until after the National Championship game has been played.
This is bad for the NCAA and bad for America; but that’s not the end of the story. Two additional players have been given a ‘slap on the wrist’ by the Tallahassee Police.
After an FSU 43-3 victory on October 5th, a car driven by P.J. Williams collided with another vehicle driven by a teenager on his way home from work. Both cars were totaled. Williams and passenger Ronald Darby left the scene on foot. Williams returned later to the scene of the accident. Tallahassee police did not test Williams for alcohol; and he was not arrested for the charge of hit and run. Instead, he was given two traffic citations.
Although they have no jurisdiction, two high-ranking Campus officers were at the site of the hit and run. Williams is considered one of the best cornerbacks in NCAA, and Darby is the other starter, also highly rated. No report was filed by the Campus policemen; they called the accident ‘too minor.’
Winston and Williams are among many college athletes who have received preferential treatment for many acts of misconduct. These two will add to the discussions about domestic violence, sexual assault, and academic violations involving collegiate athletes.
Just recently the University of South Carolina has been accused of grade tampering for student athletes. Allegedly athletes were given passing grades for classes they never attended, and grades were changed in other circumstances. The university said that they were investigating, but that the information was related to ‘teacher certifications’ and are therefore confidential.
Collegiate athletics comprise a large amount of income for universities. The most lucrative is football. It always comes down to the rule which says ‘follow the money.’ Institutions of higher learning should be setting positive examples for our nation’s youth. They should be at the forefront of the battle to stop sexual assault on campus. Statistics prove that instead of taking serious action, sex crimes on our college campuses is on the rise. More frightening is that authorities believe that for every reported case, two more go unnoticed.
In Williams’ case, officers said he was not charged with hit and run because he returned 20 minutes later; once again, no sobriety test was administered.
An investigation by the New York Times revealed a similar incident which involved less damage was treated differently. The person accused of hit and run was not an athlete at Florida State.
Why isn’t there national outrage over these incidents? This reporter will be cheering for the Seminoles of Florida State to lose each and every remaining football game this season.
By James Turnage