Wednesday, December 4, 2013

History May Repeat Itself: Florida State's Jameis Winston Guilty Before Proven Innocent

It's the media's job to convince the reader and/or viewer of undeniable guilt before a sentence is given to a person of high profile.

In the case of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and the ongoing alleged sexual assault investigation; guilty before being charged is the acceptable thought.

History has the opportunity to rear it's ugly head yet again.

Former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin and then teammate Erik Williams were charged with allegedly gang-raping Nina Shahravan back in 1996. Shahravan filed a report stating the men held a gun to her while videotaping the whole ordeal.

Shahravan was later arrested for fabricating the story and filing a false police report.

Popular media outlets annihilated Irvin and Williams for the accusations, and the two were proven guilty in the court of public opinion.

Few apologies were delivered.

In 2006, the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case made enormous headlines across the US when Crystal Mangum accused three of the players for raping her in the bathroom. Mangum was later found to be lying.

She's currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for murdering her boyfriend.

The boys were found guilty of everything before ever being put in front of a jury of their peers. The world had already decided their guilt and their sentence.

Apologies barely appeared.

Brian Banks, a highly sought after California football player, was exonerated of rape charges when his accuser admitted to lying. Banks spent five years in prison before he was acquitted.

The young man was incriminated, his life ruined by a blatant lie, and then made into a sympathetic figure.

Defeating the ugly public perception was the apology.

State Attorney William Meggs has completed his ongoing investigation and will announce whether Winston will be charged at 2PM EST on December 5th.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston Urinated in Public Pool, Involved in Gum-Chewing Incident

The institution of higher learning received a major setback with the current news stating Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was involved in a BB gun shooting incident followed by stealing fountain soda at a Tallahassee, Florida Burger King.

The crisis has sent shockwaves throughout FSU's campus.

Gone are the days of good, clean fun depicted in classic college films such as Animal House and Old School where alcohol and drug abuse were commonplace  seldom did shenanigans occur. 

Universities have tried to escape the stigma college is a site to meet new people and experiment with illicit substances. What Winston committed goes beyond heinous.

According to an FSU student, who wishes to remain anonymous, "I'm pretty sure Jameis peed in the pool at West 10 (apartment complex) once." The student continued with a mournful expression and glassy eyes, "He chewed gum in class, too. When will the football team realize they're hurting all of us."

Considering college students rarely make mindless mistakes, the news of Winston's follies, combined with the ongoing alleged sexual assault investigation, has made the number one Heisman contender quite the easy target.

Those who live in glass houses...

The number two Seminoles take on the Florida Gators on Saturday at noon.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jameis Winston Saga Cluttered with Sensationalism, Little Facts

Florida State quarterback and Heisman front-runner Jameis Winston has been in the spotlight before the 2013-2014 college football season started. 

The explosion of the heralded redshirt freshman comes to no surprise by FSU fans – aptly nicknaming Winston "Famous Jameis" when the Hueytown, Alabama native signed on the dotted line to play for Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles.

The storybook season was moving along smoothly with blowout victories over ACC Atlantic Division rival Clemson as well as in-state rival Miami. The 'Noles are currently the number two team in the nation with a tremendous chance at playing in Pasadena, California for the national championship.

A serious legal matter has since gravely overshadowed Winston and the Seminoles' dream season. 

In December of 2012, Winston was identified and accused of sexually assaulting a woman

Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times originally broke the story, while TMZ nearly got the credit, according to Dead Spin. Since then, allegations and rumors concerning both Winston and the accuser have dominated Internet message boards as well as Twitter.

State Attorney William Meggs has been investigating these allegations for weeks now with a decision reportedly not being reached for another two weeks, leaving the timetable roughly after the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The holdup has FSU fans rightfully worried, but why the delay? It appears Meggs and company have the facts needed to either charge Winston or close this case. 

This isn't the first time Meggs has attempted to put a Florida State player away nor will it be the last. Former FSU defensive tackle Travis Johnson was in a similar situation Winston is currently facing. According to USA Herald, Johnson was accused of rape, but was found innocent of any wrongdoing. Meggs had some interesting words after the Johnson verdict.

"Although the jury found that there was not enough evidence to convict him, [that] does not mean that Mr. Johnson did not commit the crime, and that is an important distinction."

The reader can come up with his or her own conclusion.

Here's what we know: Winston allowed himself to be tested for a DNA analysis, which did match the DNA on the accuser's underwear. This is not an omission of guilt.

Tim Janson, Winston's attorney, says the sex between the two was consensual. Patricia Carroll, the accuser's attorney, says it was rape.

So now we're stuck with a battle of "he said, she said." 

No matter what is printed, and the majority of it paints Winston as being guilty, the only thing truly factual in this case is some form of sex took place. Whether it was the heinous and disgusting act of rape, or the accused allegedly and potentially lying for personal gain, the whole story reads of sensationalism and sports "man-drama."

Allow the process to conclude then reach judgement.