Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first half of Saturday night’s game vs the Clemson Tigers. The Heisman Trophy winner was seen by multiple witnesses shouting an obscene sexual phrase in the student union on FSU’s campus.
The suspension was handed down in a joint statement by FSU interim President Dr. Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox:
“As the university’s most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University. Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others.”
The statement went on to say that Winston’s actions were “offensive and vulgar.” In addition to the suspension, Winston will receive internal discipline.
Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher spoke on the matter during an ACC teleconference.
“You can’t make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory to any person, race or gender,” said Fisher. “You have to understand that. You have to be very intelligent about what you say, [because] it matters.”
Winston has had numerous off-field incidents over the past couple years, including a sexual assault case that is still under investigation through Title IX. He was suspended from the FSU baseball team and was required to perform community service after being charged for stealing crab legs from a local grocery store earlier this year. He addressed his suspension in a press conference following the announcement.
“First of all, I want to apologize to the university, my coaches and to my teammates,” Winston said. “I’m not a ‘me’ person, but in that situation, it was a selfish act and that’s not how you do things around here.”
“I want to apologize to my teammates because I have now made a selfish act for them.”
Winston said he realizes that the actions he committed were wrong, and will do what he can to help the team power through in Saturday’s game.
“You’ve got to overcome adversity — and that’s one thing at Florida State we do,” Winston said. “We’re gonna overcome adversity. And when I do get my opportunity to play, I’m going to do everything I can.”
“That’s what eats me up,” Winston said. “I wanna be on the field. But I did something and I gotta accept my consequences, and I’m going to apologize to my team.”
With Winston out for the first half, FSU’s backup Sean Maguire will get his first start of his college career. A sophomore, Maguire has seen limited reps, coming in late in games last season after Florida State held comfortable leads.
#1 Florida State takes on #22-ranked Clemson Saturday night at 8pm.