State’s attorney reportedly vows to ‘get to the bottom of’ Winston situation

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A Florida state’s attorney vowed Friday his office will “get to the bottom of it and do the right thing” as it relates to the Jameis Winston investigation, USA Today‘s Dan Wolken is reporting.

William Meggs told the paper that he’s only read half of the complaint forwarded to him by the Tallahassee Police Department, a complaint that was initially filed in December of 2012 while Winston was in the midst of a redshirt season as a true freshman.  Multiple media outlets reported that the TPD had received a complaint alleging sexual battery against the Florida State quarterback.

Meggs stated that he has assigned two investigators to the case, although the alleged victim has yet to be interviewed.  The state’s attorney also intimated that the case thus far hasn’t been investigated properly.

“Since it’s now been dumped in our laps, we’re going to make sure it is properly investigated,” said Meggs. “Whether it has been so far, I don’t know.”

Meggs intimated similar shortcomings in the probe to FOXSports.com.

“Obviously, we’ll work as fast as we can,” Meggs said. “There are things that have to be done that have not been done.”

Meggs, FOXSports.com reported, declined to elaborate further.

As was reported yesterday, Meggs “doubt[s] very seriously” that his investigators will “get a statement from Jameis Winston,” with the state’s attorney noting that Winston “has a right against self-incrimination.”  As is also his right, Winston has retained counsel, with attorney Tim Jansen telling FOXSports.com that he has two witnesses with information that could clear his client.  One of the witnesses spoke to investigators Thursday, while the other is scheduled to be interviewed today.

The lag time between the initial complaint and it surfacing publicly has caused concern from several corners — and spawned numerous conspiracy theories — as Winston is the presumptive front-runner for the Heisman while his Seminoles are poised for a berth in the BCS title game.  Meggs, via Wolken, explains the procedural norm in such a case:

Meggs said in cases like this one, law enforcement agencies are supposed to provide his office with a probable cause affidavit at the time of the incident, at which point the state attorney would decide whether probable cause exists to get a warrant. His office never got a probable cause affidavit in this case, which suggests either Tallahassee police decided there was nothing to prosecute or the alleged victim declined to cooperate after filing the initial complaint.

Another area of concern has been the heavily-redacted TPD report on the alleged incident.  In that report, the alleged perpetrator is listed as being between 5-9 and 5-11; Winston is listed on the team’s official online roster as 6-4.  “I would say what y’all have doesn’t tell you anything,” Meggs told Wolken of the physical discrepancy.

A determination on whether the evidence gathered shows probable cause and thus supports an arrest is not expected until next week at the earliest, Meggs said.  It should be noted that, if Winston were to be charged with what would be a felony, he would suspended from the football team by the university.  That suspension would last until the case was resolved.

As of now, Winston’s status with the football team has not changed and he will be under center when FSU takes on Syracuse Saturday.

Fans can legally pack concealed heat at Georgia football tailgates

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Guns and SEC football are back in the news yet again this offseason.  And this one has the ACC riding shotgun as well.

In late March, the state of Arkansas legislature passed a law (House Bill 1249) that would allow concealed-carry handguns on publicly-owned property, which would’ve include college sporting events.  A day later, and after realizing, amidst considerable controversy, the potential for alcohol-fueled fans attending an SEC football game armed, the state’s senate voted to amend the law to exclude college sporting events.

Fast-forward to this month, and the state of Georgia legislature has passed a law (House Bill 280) that would allow the carrying of concealed handguns on college campuses, with exceptions that include on-campus stadiums, arenas, gymnasiums and the like hosting intercollegiate sporting events.  That bill is scheduled to become law in the state July 1.

In clarifying the language of the law, the university confirmed in an extensive press release Wednesday that individuals with valid weapons licenses will be permitted to conceal-carry outside of college football stadiums.  In other words, licensed individuals would be permitted to carry concealed weapons outside of Sanford Stadium as well as Bobby Dodd Stadium as part of the game-day tailgating experience.

Only handguns are allowed under this law, and only when concealed.  Long guns, obviously, are not permitted under any circumstance.

“I understand that many of you have strong feelings about this bill,” UGA Chancellor Steve Wrigley began his letter to the university community. “Yet, whether you opposed or supported the legislation, it will soon be state law, and I respectfully ask everyone to exercise patience, understanding and respect as we implement it.

“We all share the same goal of ensuring a safe campus environment. We should work together to implement the law as written and thoughtfully address any complications that may arise.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement amidst the Arkansas gun-law controversy that may or may not have had an impact on that state’s legislature tweaking of the bill. It bears watching whether the commish follows a similar public tack when it comes to this piece of legislation.

The Georgia Bulldogs will open their 2017 season at home against Appalachian State Sept. 2, while Georgia Tech’s home opener is Sept. 9 against Jacksonville State.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.