The sports world expected redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston to win the 2013 Heisman Trophy and he did. At 19 years and 342 days old, he became the youngest player to do so. His spectacular play on the field easily placed him first on 668 of the ballots. Others, at least 115 voters, felt differently and couldn’t put aside the rape allegations against the Florida State QB. Those 115 voters left Winston off the ballot completely. It didn’t matter in the end as Jameis won by one of the largest margins of victory in the history of the award (2205 pts to 2nd place Alabama’s AJ McCarron’s 704 points.) Other finalists for the award included 2012 winner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), Andre Williams (Boston College) and Tre Mason (Auburn.)
Winston’s football stats were impressive:
- 13-0 record
- BCS National Championship Game berth
- 4,000+ total yards – completing 67% of his throws
- 42 touchdowns
But there was a nagging, unsettling feeling for many football fans that tugged as his name was read though even though the outcome was expected. There are few publicly known facts about the incident that prompted the young woman to report a sexual assault. What is certainly clear is the fact that the police and prosecutors didn’t uphold their responsibility in following through with a full investigation of the allegation, instead focusing on the alleged victim. Attorney Patricia Carroll, representing the interests of the young lady and her family, held a 90-minute press conference outlining the missteps and problems with the handling of the case.
“If victims are subjected on an ongoing basis to what this victim was, there is a serious problem in the state of Florida and certainly the Tallahassee area,” Carroll said. “This was an investigation of a rape victim, not an investigation of a rape suspect.” Attorney Patricia Carroll
Winston referenced the situation during his acceptance speech:
“I trusted in the process that evaluating facts and its truth is delivered with positive outcomes, because after all the things I done been through this past month, I remember when my daddy trusted in the process when he risked his job and was jobless three years ago when I was out there, doing whatever I did to provide for my family, because I knew he couldn’t do it. Me and my momma had to pay bills, me and my momma making everything happen. And that man, he kept fighting, but the truth prevailed.” Jameis Winston, 2013 Heisman Trophy Award acceptance speech
Nothing else may become of the young woman’s reported assault. Winston will continue to celebrate, play and move forward as a Tallahassee star. Regardless, this one just feels funky.