Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sailing Through Tempests

So Jameis Winston has been “cited” for stealing crab-legs and crawfish from a grocery store.  His sentence is 20 hours of community service.  In addition, the Florida State University baseball team relieved him of his duties for a while.  (Not to worry, I predict it won’t be long and the golden boy will be throwing that high hard one once again.)

For some people, life is a tempest of their own making.  For Sir Jameis, it’s more like a surfer gliding over rough waves as throngs of on-lookers cheer him on.

With the help of coaches and administrators at Florida State University, cops at the Tallahassee Police Department, and high-priced attorneys, Sir Jameis has sailed around storms before.

An accusation of rape was barely investigated by TPD and shoved under the rug by FSU.  In the meantime, evidence disappeared (a student videotaped the sexual encounter but later “lost” the tape) and witnesses, including Sir Jameis himself, went silent, on the advice of their attorneys.  The accuser could barely get her case heard—TPD is now being investigated by the state of Florida for its handling of the complaint.  In fact, it was the accuser who was interrogated, not the accused.  The co-ed also stated that she felt coerced by police to drop the charges.

But none of that matters to the Seminole Nation.

Neither does the fact that a month before the rape accusation, another woman, according to the New York Times, “had sought counseling after a sexual encounter with Mr. Winston.”  Although the woman didn’t call it “rape,” she said she felt “violated.”

The winner of the Heisman Trophy and leader of the Seminole team that won last year’s national championship represents hundreds of millions of dollars for the university and Tallahassee.  So maybe the Seminole faithful think Sir Jameis is just reaping the rewards of victory by screwing every woman he meets, whether she wants him to or not.  Whatever the case, this sordid story exemplifies athletics in today’s world.  (I’m not picking on FSU—I believe football corruption is prevalent at almost every major university.)

Maybe FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher should take a page from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.  When his star wide receiver, Desmond Bryant, beat up his own mother after a string of other unlawful incidents, Jones hired a round-the-clock bodyguard (some would call him a “baby-sitter”) to help keep Bryant out of trouble.  So far it seems to have worked.

If they give Sir Jameis a babysitter, maybe the crab-legs and crawfish will be safe.  But I doubt even that will protect the pretty co-eds at FSU.

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