Last week, Heisman quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended one game for shouting profane and sexually explicit phrases in the memorial union at Florida State. This is the third major disciplinary action against Winston after a sexual assault case a year previous and a shoplifting charge. The coach, Jimbo Fisher, states in the article that Winston as well as the coaching staff and other players has learned a lot regarding disciplinary action for collegiate athletes. In addition, Fisher explains that the one-game suspension “hit home” for Winston.
Unfortunately, many critics believe that this will not be the last disciplinary action Winston will receive in his college and professional career. Whether due to his past history, family members, being named Heisman of the year in 2014, Winston has continuously been caught or suspected of multiple “run-ins with authorities.” This begs the question of whether these disciplinary actions are really helping Winston learn from his mistakes, or doing the opposite. Winston shows many unique characteristics: fear, little accountability, expectations, and self-dependence. Many of these issues arouse around the time Winston was going to be named Heisman of the year. Once he received this honor, very high expectations were placed on the freshman. This resulted in him being fearful of not meeting the expectations and hence he became too self-dependent and did not integrate with others on his team. Unfortunately for Winston, finding others who are in his position are rare, so having a mentor that has experienced his situation is not obvious. Regardless, this ultimately has caused him not to be accountable for his own actions. In fact, due to this lack of accountability, his one-game suspension almost cost the Florida State football team a chance at winning the national championship.
Another issue arose about how Florida State is handling the situation. In the beginning of last week, Fisher announced that Winston would only be suspended for onehalf of a game. This means that he could start the second half and possibly make a large enough impact on the game that they would win. However, with the looming Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson issues in the NFL, Florida State administration decided to increase the suspension for a whole game. The issue with this is that Florida State probably decided this based on a public relations move. Their focus should be helping Winston with his issue of continuously getting involved with authorities. Instead, they simply suspended him for a full game so that there would be little scrutiny that the NFL is currently being assessed. In the end, this will not help Winston and the fear is that when he enters the professional scene, his actions will only escalate. Money, power, and fame all could contribute to his continuous actions that may mimic the issues that Rice and Peterson and experiencing. IMT can aid Florida State by getting as much information on Winston as possible, his family history, and his future professional plans. Therefore, they can make the best decisions regarding disciplinary actions that help him not commit these offenses in the near and foreseeable future.
Shanker, Jared. “FSU Reinstates Jameis Winston.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 22 Sept. 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. < http://espn.go.com/collegefootball/story/_/id/11570226/suspension-hit-home-florida-state-seminoles-qbjameis-winston>.