Jameis Winston

Winston accuser’s attorney calls for investigation into case, Tallahassee Police Department


The attorney for Jameis Winston’s accuser called upon Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to conduct an independent investigation into the sexual assault case against the FSU quarterback and Tallahassee Police Department Friday morning.

The accuser’s attorney, Patricia Carroll, said in a press conference said the conduct of the Tallahassee Police Department and state attorney Willie Meggs was an “investigation of a rape victim, not a rape suspect.”

Carroll said she and the accuser’s family are not considering a civil suit against Winston at this time.

Carroll pointed to search warrants issued for the accuser’s phone records by Tallahassee Police Department Detective Scott Angulo, instead of obtaining a search warrant for Winston’s DNA last January when the alleged victim identified Winston as the perpetrator.

Additionally, Carroll blasted Meggs’ focus on discovering who the second sample of DNA belonged to — later to be discovered as that of the accuser’s boyfriend. The prying into the accuser’s past sexual history opened her up for inquiries that wouldn’t stand in a court of law, Carroll said.

When the case reached Meggs, Carroll requested Winston’s phone records be obtained, but Meggs told her those documents were no longer available — though Carroll said those records actually could’ve been obtained.

“They didn’t try,” Carroll said.

Among the other issues Carroll raised with the investigation, both by the Tallahassee Police Department and state attorney’s office:

— The medical records used in the investigation did not include certain information that were on the medical records given to Carroll by the accuser’s family. Among the omitted information: The clinician’s opinion a sexual assault had occurred.

— Carroll said the symptoms reported by the accuser were consistent with a date rape drug being used, but Carroll also said the alleged victim took a shot from “a big black guy” at a bar, and her memory was intermittent afterwards. The blood provided by the accuser was never tested for the presence of a date rape drug, Carroll said.

— The report written by Angulo contained inconsistencies, such as listing two different heights provided by the accuser though nowhere in the report did Angulo state the accuser gave a different height. Many of Angulo’s interviews with the accuser were not recorded.

— Carroll said Meggs relied heavily on affidavits given by two of Winston’s teammates — Chris Casher and Ronald Darby — stating that the sexual encounter between Winston and the accuser was consensual. Carroll blasted the reliance on Casher and Darby’s affidavits, saying both players were unreliable and inconsistent in their statements.

Meggs announced last week that he did not have enough evidence to charge Winston with a crime.

The timing of Carroll’s press conference appeared calculated with the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday and Winston expected to win the prestigious award. Carroll, though, said the press conference was “not tied to the timing of the Heisman announcement” and came today because she needed sufficient time to review the documents provided by Meggs’ investigation.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press
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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.