Jameis Winston

Report: Florida State investigated Winston for alleged assault, charged two others


Florida State University upheld their responsibility to comply with Title IX by conducting an internal investigation of quarterback Jameis Winston following accusations he had sexually abused another student in December 2012. According to a report by Deadspin, Florida State University administrators investigated Winston and charged two of his teammates — defensive end Chris Casher and defensive back Ronald Darby — with violations of the school’s code of conduct. According to the report, Winston is not facing any similar charges following the internal investigation.

Winston reportedly kept silent when asked a number of questions, pleading the fifth when meeting with university officials. His legal counsel advised him to do so, so the meeting failed to yield any evidence to punish Winston, although if more evidence surfaces later the investigation could lead to future charges by the university.

Winston was previously accused of raping a woman at an off-campus apartment in December 2012. Tallahassee police turned over all evidence and information from the case to state authorities last fall and the state attorney’s office completed their investigation last December. The investigation found no evidence to charge Winston with any crime despite testimony from Casher and Darby claiming they witnessed Winston having sex with the alleged victim.

According to the report, Casher and Darby, the 2012 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, were charged with conduct of sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person as well as acts that invade the privacy of another person. In addition, Casher faces charges of recording images without consent. Punishments have not been hashed out for Casher and Darby yet, but each could face expulsion from the university.

So, for now, Winston has been cleared by local and state authorities and the university has failed to produce any support for any punishments. This is not likely to just be swept under the rug at this point in time, but the more we learn the more it seems Winston’s status as a football player is not going to be changing anytime soon.

Read the full report from Deadspin for more information.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian
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Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.