Jameis Winston

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

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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.

Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami’s leading sacker, takes to social media to reveal surgery

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: Al-Quadin Muhammad #98 of the Miami Hurricanes sacks Antonio Bostick #13 of the Savannah State Tigers on September 21, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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While Miami had not yet confirmed it, one of the most talented Hurricanes on the defensive side of the ball, Al-Quadin Muhammad (pictured, right), underwent a successful but unspecified surgical procedure recently.  And just how did we know that initially?  Because the player posted a picture of himself laying in a hospital bed and clothed in hospital garb, that’s how.

Subsequent to Muhammad’s social media revelation, the university confirmed that the lineman had undergone “a small surgical procedure… on his knee.”  Muhammad is expected to resume football activities in a couple of weeks.

The redshirt junior played in 12 games in 2015, leading the team in both tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (five). He’ll enter summer camp, provided he doesn’t suffer a setback, as arguably the Hurricanes’ top pass rusher.

Motorcycle accident claims life of Troy DB Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris
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Sadly, tragedy has hit the college football community yet again.

Troy confirmed in a press release that Trojans football player Nathan Harris has passed away due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident earlier Saturday.  Harris was just 19 years old.

Other than the accident occurred in Gulf Shores, Ala., no details were made available.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy and the thoughts and prayers of the Troy Athletics Department and the Troy University community are with Nathan’s family and friends,” Troy athletic director Jeremy McClain said in a statement. “It is devastating to see a young life end in such a heartbreaking way, and we will provide support and comfort for his teammates, friends and coaches as they go through the grieving process.”

“Nate was a tremendous person and a very caring young man,” a statement from Troy head coach Neal Brown said began. “While his time here at Troy University was brief, his impact was felt by many. He was loved by his teammates and had a positive effect on our team’s culture in a short time.”

Harris, who starred as a quarterback at Gulf Shores High School, joined the Troy football team as a walk-on this past semester.  During the course of spring practice, Harris had worked his way up to being the Trojans’ starting holder.  He was listed as a safety on the school’s online roster.

The sudden passing is hitting the Gulf Shores community particularly hard.

“We are struggling here,” Harris’ high school coach, Ben Blackmon, told WALA-TV, adding, “He has gone to live with God.”

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Harris’ passing.

B1G gained ground, but SEC still reigned in NFL draft

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces Leonard Floyd of the Georgia Bulldogs as the #9 overall pick by the Chicago Bears during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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In each of the last two years, the Big Ten was barely within 20 of the SEC in total draft selections.  In the 2016 version of the annual selection meeting, the former conference gained significant ground on the latter — but couldn’t quite get over that Southern hump.

With three days and seven rounds officially in the books, the SEC led all conferences with 51 players selected in the 2016 NFL draft.  That total is down from the 54 a year ago, but up from 49 in the 2014 draft.

The past two drafts, the Big Ten had gone from 30 picks in 2014 to 34 in 2015; thanks in large part to 12 from Ohio State, that conference made a B1G leap to 47, second-most of any other conference in college football this cycle and the closest any league has come to unseating the SEC in a handful of years.  The last two years, the ACC, No. 2 in 2014 and 2015, got to within seven of the SEC — 47 picks in 2015 for that conference, 42 the year before.

This year, the ACC’s 26 selections were tied with the Big 12 for No. 4 among conferences.  No. 3?  The Pac-12, with a whopping nine picks in the seventh and final round, with 32.

No Group of Five conference could come close to the Power Five leagues, with the AAC and Conference USA pacing those “mid-majors” with 10 draft picks each.  The Mountain West was next with nine, followed by the MAC with six and the Sun Belt with three.

Independents saw eight players drafted, with Notre Dame accounting for all but one of those (more on the Irish later).

From the lower divisions of college football, 21 FCSers were drafted while two from Div. II were scooped up.  And, internationally, there was one player each from Canada and Germany who heard their name called.

Penn State confirms dismissal of DT Kamonte Carter

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Nittany Lion, the mascot of Penn State, rallies the team while in the endzone during the NCAA football game against Nebraska at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania on September 14, 2002. The Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the Nebraska Huskers 40-7.  (Photo by Rick Stewart /Getty Images)
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As NFL teams are busy adding former college football players, one program at this level is busy turning one of its current players into a former one.

Earlier today, 247Sports.com reported that Kamonte Carter had been dismissed from the Nittany Lions for violating unspecified team rules.  A short while later, the football program confirmed the development.

And, according to the school, the redshirt freshman defensive tackle was on the receiving end of James Franklin‘s boot more than a week ago.

“Kam Carter was informed on April 21 that he is no longer a member of the Penn State football team for a violation of team rules,” the university said in a statement. “We appreciate Kam’s contributions to the program and wish him success in the future.”

Carter was a four-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Maryland and the No. 238 player overall in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings.  The 6-4, 305-pound lineman took a redshirt as a true freshman.

The Centre Daily Times writes that Carter “was expected to see some time in the defensive line rotation this fall as a backup.”