Wrongful behavior in a public university by a leading sports celebrity bodes poorly on the individual and the institution represented. Quarterback, Jameis Winston’s character continues to be called into question as he and the rest of the team prepare for their upcoming game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Florida State University’s football program may come under scrutiny for one of its player’s actions. Jameis Winston’s ongoing off-the-field antics are proving to be a major distraction. Acquittal of a felony in 2013, along with ensuing indiscretions, made him a controversial figure due to his celebrated stature. The Heisman Trophy quarterback must change his conduct, because it has become detrimental to his team and university.
Subsequent to his exoneration from being accused of rape, Winston was also charged with food theft and failed to appear in court for required testimony. In an obvious display of arrogance, he proved he had not learned from past troubles when he recently stood on a student union table and declared vulgar and profane comments directed toward the alleged rape victim from last year. Although he was suspended from participating in last week’s contest against Clemson University, a game his team won in overtime, clear flaws in his character have cast a cloud over Florida State’s proud football program.
Up until the rape allegation, Winston was deemed a character and player role model; therefore, he had much public support in the months and weeks leading up to his acquittal. Being exposed to having questionable behavioral tendencies, one has to wonder if the university and football team has masked other past improprieties. Granted, Winston is not even 21-years old yet, but it is important to know if his behavioral issues are a result of him attaining celebrity status, thus feeling entitled, or due to him being inclined toward unethical or illegal conduct.
Winston’s immaturity has even caught the eye of a fellow friend, Ameer Abdullah, the Nebraska Cornhuskers running back who attended training and football camps in Alabama with him. Abdullah said to reporters via the Associated Press that Winston needs to grow up.
“It’s kind of hard for me to understand what’s going on with him right now, but from a general standpoint it’s the maturity level,” Abdullah said. “Think before you act. Understand the bigger picture. Everything that you do, say or how you present yourself can have dire consequences. That’s something I feel like he definitely needs to assess more.”
Abdullah added that the spotlight might be too big for Winston and that he is attracting a negative image. The Huskers running back has added himself to the mix of 2014 Heisman Trophy candidates and carries strong character and academic performance with excellent play on the field. Abdullah continued to say that Winston “has a long way to go” to achieve a “higher level of maturity.”
Winston’s one-game suspension aside, this situation may not only impact his team’s performance for the remainder of the year, but also his standing assessed by professional NFL scouts for the upcoming 2015 Draft. This is conjecture at this point, but if Winston’s behavior goes unchecked and he is not accountable in the future, then it will impact his future unfavorably in one way or another.
It is true that Winston has been placed under a microscope, but that comes with the territory of being a public figure resulting from Florida State’s national championship occurring during his Heisman Trophy award-winning campaign last year. Winston’s standing in the public eye will be questioned, regardless. Now it is up to him to prove that he can make lasting behavior changes.