Just before Florida State took on Duke for the ACC championship, Heisman frontrunner and quarterback Jameis Winston learned he would not be charged for an crimes related to sexual assault following an investigation by state authorities. A lawyer representing the alleged victim was defiant in her response to the initial decision but is not ready to let the case go. Pat Carroll, who represents a woman claiming to have been raped by Winston in December 2012, told ABC’s Good Morning America program Wednesday morning a civil lawsuit is coming.
“I want heads to roll,” Carroll said in the live television interview. “Absolutely you’re going to see a civil suit. You can not have law enforcement that is not held accountable.”
Carroll is setting her sights on the Tallahassee Police Department in addition to Winston, who is coming off leading Florida State to a BCS championship and this past season’s Heisman Trophy winner. According to Carroll, the Tallahassee Police Department was negligent in handling her client’s case and believes improper procedures by the police led to the prosecutor’s decision to drop the case in December.
Keep in mind that the court of civil law does not require as much concrete evidence that a typical lawsuit would require to prove anything beyond reasonable doubt. That means selling the case to a jury may be easier to do when it comes to testimony if Carroll can sway a jury enough in her client’s favor. The civil lawsuit may also go after Florida State University as well.
“The family is proceeding, with civil action against the TPD and Jameis Winston,” Carroll said Wednesday. “And possibly the university.”
Ultimately what matters most is having justice served in the court of law, regardless of the outcome. From a football perspective, which obviously takes a backseat to any court cases related to sexual assault of course, the hope will be that this is all taken care of in an appropriate amount of time. If it can be wrapped up before the football season, Florida State will know exactly where they stand with regard to Winston. Being found guilty in a civil case may not carry the same impact being found guilty in a state case would, but it will surely provide a distraction in the offseason until playing out in court. Any further analysis of what this may or may not mean for Winston and Florida State is best put on hold until a civil case is brought to the court and a timeline starts to form.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.