Gerald Ensley is a longtime columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat. Diane (DK) Roberts is something of a Tallahassee institution and currently an FSU professor, among many other activities (for example: Oxford-educated, she also writes a column for The Guardian in Britain). I'm making this post to them against my better judgment, because I've seen first-hand just how much Florida State University Seminole fans everywhere justifiably love Jameis Winston. People all over the nation have fallen for the kid. I know there could be quite a bit of blowback locally just for daring to write this; hell, Gerald wrote a very tame column stating the obvious and has been subjected to quite a bit of vitriol.
I get it. People love Jameis. And in the state of Florida, we absolutely love our football.
I've looked all season long for weaknesses in his game and have failed. I've talked yang with co-workers and friends about what we'll do to him when he comes to the Swamp. But I know damn well I may be whistling past the graveyard.
They clearly have a superstar on their hands.
And I genuinely love what I've seen of the kid and I don't begrudge FSU their moment in the sun. If the championship game winds up being Bama vs. FSU, I've flipped back and forth on who I will cheer for. I'm very, very big on the "State of Florida" thing. I want all Florida schools to dominate whatever conference they are in. I am 100% Gator, but I cheer for Florida and Floridians. I'm also a huge SEC fan. And I'll probably wind up cheering for the conference team, if there is a conference team in the championship game. That long prelude leads me to this discussion of the current situation.
Yes, rank speculation follows.
Here's what bugs me, Gerald & DK. And this is (again) admittedly rank speculation from a 100% Gator fan but . . . don't we know this isn't an incident of mistaken identity? Don't we already know that? Don't we also know that a man who has an alibi, and witnesses to support the alibi (as his criminal defense lawyer has claimed), doesn't need to indicate that he will not speak with the authorities of his own volition -- thereby invoking his right to not self-incriminate?
So it appears that we know *something* happened and Jameis was clearly involved.
It also appears that the girl was an FSU student. Hmmmmmmm.
It appears that she first called the police from her dorm that night. Hmmmmmmm.
And it was the FSU police that she called.
So . . . FSU -- officially -- had to know there was an open dispute between FSU students, even if the event occurred off-campus. Doesn't that invoke student disciplinary proceedings? This is pulled from an FSU website advising students of the student code of conduct:
FSU website: This incident happened off campus. Why is the university involved?
Answer: The university has an interest in maintaining a safe community and appropriate standards of conduct for its students. This includes both on-campus and off-campus behavior, which can have an impact on the university community and the university mission.
FSU website: If my charges have been dropped by the City of Tallahassee or another agency, will they also be dropped by FSU?
Answer: No. The University falls under the Student Conduct Code and [this] is separate from [outside] processes. Your Student Conduct Code case will proceed regardless of what happens outside of the university.
If this girl turns out to be an FSU student, Gerald & DK, and there was some misconduct that was swept under the rug -- even if determined not to be a rape -- there could still be an NCAA angle to this case. Did the FSU police or any FSU officials advise this girl of her on-campus complaint rights? Did they provide any victim assistance to her? Or did they instead subject her to pressure to not go forward with charges?
This story has quite a few layers, Gerald & DK, quite a few. Not the least of which is FSU's history as a girls school. If they have shown a certain disregard to a female student *or* victim, that is an incredibly troubling development -- wouldn't you agree?
And how about the incredibly odd situation with the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD)?
What TPD officer made the decision to not file a probable cause affidavit (PCA)?
What supervisor or series of TPD supervisors signed off on the decision to not file the PCA?
Over the last five years, how many sexual assault probable cause affidavits have been forwarded by TPD to the State Attorney's Office (SAO)?
Over the last five years, how many sexual assault complaints received by TPD *weren't* forwarded to the SAO?
What is the policy of TPD on deciding whether a sexual assault complaint does or does not get a PCA filed?
Was TPD's Victim Advocacy Unit consulted on this complaint in any way, shape or form? If not, why not?
I have a close personal friend who is a diehard Nole who happens to be from Gainesville of all places, and he says the Noles are simply snakebit when it comes to situations like this. I was thinking of the Randy Moss situation and the likelihood of him bringing two additional national titles to the Noles back in the day if he could have just kept his personal proclivities in order. In the end, it simply wasn't meant to be.
This story is a devastating development for a school that fancies itself artsy and liberal and all about social justice, etc., etc., etc.
The known facts stink and the currently known facts appear to involve a seriously corrupted case that favored Big Football over a female complainant.