Commentary by James Turnage
If you are among millions of NCAA Football fans in America who despise Florida State University, know that you have great support. If you cheer against the Seminoles during every game they play, you are united with a huge number of Florida State haters.
What is the reason they are so shunned by fans across the United States? If it’s because they have been consistent winners, that is foolish. If they were victorious over your favorite team and you remain angry, that’s ludicrous. If your disdain for the university and its football team is based on suspected illegal and immoral action by the University and the Tallahassee Police Department, you have a good reason for your anger.
Football in Tallahassee and at Florida State University trump crime. If sexual assault, domestic violence, theft, civil disobedience, or a hit-and-run violation is committed by a player on the Seminoles’ football team, it is not a crime.
A rape allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston created attention towards the Florida State program. The Heisman Trophy winner was never charged by the Tallahassee police for the crime. Winston was not alone in alleged misconduct involving a star football player.
In January of last year a 911 call brought Tallahassee police officers to a residence where the caller described a violent situation and portrayed it as ‘really bad.’ He said that a man was punching a woman who was holding a baby, and apparently attempting to leave.
When officers arrived around three in the morning, the 19-year-old woman said that she and her boyfriend had argued, and he didn’t want her to leave; she insisted nothing physical happened.
When officers are called to a situation involving domestic violence, a required protocol must take place. They must perform a thorough investigation including obtaining written statements from witnesses; a written statement from the alleged victim; advise the alleged victim about assistance that is available, and report the instance to a domestic abuse crisis center. The officers filed a very brief report, and did not follow any of the protocol.
However, they did report to their Sergeant that the man involved was a Florida State football player. The sergeant signed off on the report, and it was filed away as ‘unfounded.’
There have been cases which were prosecuted, but they were not in seasons when FSU was in contention for a National Championship.
When wide receiver Jesus Wilson was stopped for riding a stolen scooter, and he claimed he had borrowed it from another student whose name he did not know, police officers accepted his story and released him, allowing his participation in the football program.
A starting defensive back was celebrating after a FSU victory. His vehicle struck and totaled another vehicle driven by a man who worked for a pizza restaurant and was on his way home. He left the scene. When he returned, two high-ranking campus police appeared. No charges were filed.
In another instance at least 13 FSU football players were involved in a ‘shootout’ using CO2 BB guns. There was extensive property damage, and innocent bystanders were endangered. No charges were filed, although individuals as young as 12 had been prosecuted for the same crime in other parts of the state.
If you hate FSU and the football program for the right reasons, you are to be commended. The city and university are obviously corrupt and care more about football and the money generated by the program than the protection of the city’s residents.
Lose FSU, lose.
By James Turnage