If Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was not in a bright enough the spotlight already, the stage is now all his entering the 2014 college football season. The buzz and media attention following Johnny Manziel has shifted to NFL circles in Cleveland. Winston is now without question the most buzzworthy player in the sport of college football, for better or worse. Given all that Winston has been through, be it of his own actions or not, the hope is he has and will continue to grow through it.
Winston’s father, Antonor Winston, tells USA Today his son is supposed to have more security around him to make sure he is safe and able to stay out of trouble.
“He’s supposed to have somebody around him 24/7,” Antonor Winston told USA Today. “He a Heisman Trophy winner so (he’s) definitely not supposed to be by (himself).”
Winston is still a young college kid, most people understand that. But Winston is not a typical college kid and must have an understanding of his place as a member of the Florida State community. The university itself can only go so far to provide his protection. Despite his father’s remarks to USA Today, it is not Florida State’s responsibility to be monitoring and providing security for Winston 24 hours a day. That comment about 24/7 coverage may have been an exaggeration and may not have been supposed to be taken literally.
Is it fair that Winston gets placed under a different level of scrutiny and media coverage? In an ideal world, of course it is not, but this is not an ideal world now is it? Nobody is suggesting Winston should not go out, have some fun and enjoy his college years. If anything he probably needs to cut loose more than some others, but he cannot rely on the school to be on the lookout for him and provide cover when his own actions can be under his control.
USA Today frames the story centering on the interview with Winston’s father as though Winston was failed by his family and Florida State. There may be a small bit of truth somewhere in that angle, but even at the age of 20 years old, Winston is the first person who will be held accountable for his actions, both good and bad. What he does with the spotlight will go far in establishing his future NFL stock as well.
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury