Just the Facts

On December 7, 2012 Jameis Winston was accused of sexual assault (rape) and on December 5, 2013 Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs would consider bringing formal charges. Today we know that no formal charges will be filed thereby allowing Winston the opportunity to play in the ACC championship game vs. Duke University on December 7, 2013.

In 2012 when the alleged rape took place Winston had yet to preform at the national champion level he has delivered during the 2013 season. Equally interesting are the remarks by Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher said “He’s been the same guy, and like I said, he believed in the process, and he believed in himself, and he’s been the same guy. Coach Fisher’s remarks are about the character and behavior of his student athlete and makes no remarks about who is right or wrong. In fact there has been no  specific remarks, accusation, or charges that demonstrate wrong doing by either party.

At this time the accuser maybe the only one who could be accused of making harmful accusations at the wrong time without the benefit of facts directly related to Winston raping the accuser. Currently the story and the facts related to the Accuser’s story indicate that Winston knew his accuser and may have been in the same vicinity as his accuser on the night she alleged being raped.  In today’s world of social media and instant global communication potential it seems rare for the violence of a rape to not be broadcast over social media when it involves a high profile football player. In fact there are more tweets, blogs and Facebook posts about the story and how it evolved then any mention about the alleged rape.

Before I go on any further it is important to note that there has been no physical evidence indicating that the female victim was raped. Lack of evidence was the major reason Florida State Attorney did not bring charges against Winston. I say victim because I believe the casual relationship she had with Jameis Winston created feelings to cause her to feel victimized. I further believe that Jameis was not aware that his actions or perhaps lack of action and insight hurt feelings and caused his accuser to feel victimized.

In my opinion there are clear warnings and messages to be learned from this story. The first message is that two young adults were involved in this story and did not effectively communicate with one another. A second message is that a visible and successful student athlete needs to be aware of what is important now, or as Lou Holtz would say WIN. The accuser and Jameis Winston are apparently not focused on what is important now.

The WIN for Winston was and is the focus on details that will perpetuate his success as a Division 1 college football player on a nationally ranked team. For Winston’s accuser the WIN is perhaps focusing on her college career and eventual graduation and the details that would keep her on a positive path.

The circumstances that created this story may never be completely disclosed or understood. At the time this report was created Winston was on his way to leading his team to an undefeated season, winning the ACC championship, and earning the right to play for the national championship. Individually Jameis was honored with the Heisman Trophy.

It is my hope going forward that both parties focus on the details that make them great as they surround themselves with people and things that challenge them to be their best and do what is right.

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