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.
It appears someone else will have to ease the load for a newly-minted starter under center and a Heisman Trophy contender, at least in the very early portion of the season.
According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford head coach David Shaw has deemed it “unlikely” running back Bryce Love will play in the season opener Friday against Kansas State. Love sustained what was described as a lower-body injury at some point during summer camp.
The good news for the program and the player is, after the opener, the Cardinal goes on a bye before hosting 20th-ranked USC Sept. 17.
Wilner writes that “Love… is considered central to eighth-ranked Stanford’s efforts to take the pressure off new quarterback Ryan Burns and tailback Christian McCaffrey.” Burns has thrown one career pass and will be making his starting debut against K-State.
Last season, Love averaged 7.8 yards on his 29 carries. He added 15 receptions for 250 yards, and three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).
South Carolina has seen one of the most experienced members of its secondary not only leave the program but the sport as well.
Rico McWilliams has decided to leave the Gamecocks and give up football, first-year USC head coach Will Muschamp announced Monday. No reason was given for the decision.
McWilliams had started 18 the past three seasons, but began to tumble down the depth chart in the spring and failed to gain much ground in summer camp. He had left camp early on for what were described as personal reasons, but eventually returned.
“I am back with the team and have to stay focused,” the cornerback said just three days ago.
As a redshirt junior last season, McWilliams started 10 of USC’s 12 games, the lone exceptions being the contests against Georgia and Texas A&M. He was credited with 32 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Additionally, Muschamp announced that redshirt freshman wide receiver Christian Owens had left his team as well. A three-star 2015 signee, Owens didn’t play as a true freshman.
Via social media, Jim Harbaugh has attempted to walk back some of his strong talk.
Monday, the Michigan head coach was asked to comment on one of his former San Francisco 49er players, Colin Kaepernick, who kicked up quite the controversy this past week by sitting down during the playing of the national anthem to protest what he believes to be the mistreatment of African-Americans in this country. Not surprisingly, the outspoken Harbaugh didn’t mince many words.
“I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” the coach said.
A short time later, Harbaugh took to Twitter to offer a clarification that he had no issue with Kaepernick’s motivation, merely his methods.
Even as Baylor looks to put a tumultuous offseason in the rearview mirror, the football team simply can’t get away from the dark cloud hanging over the program.
Interim head coach Jim Grobe announced Monday that Chance Waz has been suspended for the Bears’ first two games of the upcoming season. The only reason given was unspecified disciplinary issues.
The suspension will cost the defensive back games against Northwestern State and SMU. Waz will be eligible to return for the Sept. 16 game against Rice.
After playing in 11 games as a true freshman in 2014, Waz started 11 of the 13 games in which he played last season. He was again projected as a starting safety entering summer camp.
Speaking of BU starters, Ishmael Zamora is still listed as a first-team wide receiver on the final preseason depth chart released by the Bears Monday. Zamora was caught on video beating his dog with a belt and kicking it, and was ultimately charged with misdemeanor animal abuse.
Grobe said he’s still awaiting the university’s decision on what if any punishment Zamora may be facing as a result of the incident.