Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Z_CNHI News Service

December 3, 2013

Jameis Winston investigation clouds Heisman voting

The 12-game regular season once again won't provide clear answers as to the best teams in college football - nor will it settle who should win the Heisman Trophy.

On the field, No. 1 Florida State's quarterback Jameis Winston is outstanding. It’s an off-the-field criminal investigation that has Heisman voters wondering what to do with their ballots to pick the season's best player.

The person with the potential to be the biggest game-changer is Willie Meggs, the state attorney in Florida, who will determine whether to pursue criminal charges after investigating a sexual assault complaint involving Winston.

Should an indictment be handed up, Winston, in all likelihood, would be suspended from the team. Florida State policy states that student-athletes charged with a felony “will not be permitted to represent FSU Athletics in game competition until such time as the charge is resolved and all court, university and athletics department conditions for reinstatement have been met.”

Answers to the questions of when or if charges are forthcoming rest with Meggs - as they should.

On the sporting side of the discussion, things remain dicey. Heisman voters have until Dec. 9 to submit their ballots. Without some decision from Meggs or a grand jury, the question is whether suspicion surrounding Winston’s actions will be a factor in Heisman voting.

Furthermore, if Winston is suspended, should Florida State play for a national championship when the player who led the team to an undefeated regular season and probable Atlantic Coast Conference championship on the sidelines?

In fairness to Winston, even if he is charged, he still should be considered innocent until proven guilty. At the same time, seeing a person charged or even under suspicion of having committed a serious crime accept an honor like the Heisman Trophy on national television Dec. 14 is disconcerting.

So what’s a voter to do?

Adding to the dilemma is a situation where no other candidate has stepped up to challenge Winston as a serious Heisman contender.

Last year's winner, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, was poised to make a run as a repeat winner until the Aggies dropped back-to-back games to end the regular season.

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron was moving into the favorite’s spot until Auburn all but ended the Crimson Tide’s dream of a third consecutive national championship in last weekend's Iron Bowl.

Boston College running back Andre Williams, who ranked first in the NCAA in rushing, saw his dreams squashed when he was injured in a loss to Syracuse, a game in which he picked up just 28 yards.

The uncertainty in Heisman voting parallels the larger question of who should play for a national championship on Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.

Winston's Florida State and Ohio State are both undefeated, and they rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the most recent BCS standings. But arguments can be made that neither should play for a national championship.

Fans and pundits are still clearing their heads following the series of heart-stoppers on Rivalry Weekend. The conference championships next weekend may provide a little more clarity.

What to make of Florida State, for example, is open to debate.

People complain that Ohio State’s schedule was soft, which is true. But the Buckeyes' schedule ranked 61st compared to Florida State’s No. 66 in Jeff Sagarin’s computerized rankings. The Seminoles play Duke in Saturday's ACC championship.

The possibility of a BCS championship game without a Southeastern Conference team has many in the South howling - and with good reason. SEC teams have won the past seven national titles, and three of league’s teams are ranked in the Top Five.

No one seems more upset than Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, who said it would be “un-American” if a one-loss SEC team is left out of the championship. That seems like a position unlikely to gain much support outside the Heart of Dixie, but it's an observation, nonetheless, with some merit.

Thank goodness this is the last year for the BCS, which will be replaced by a four-team playoff next year. How much more interesting it would be to have a showdown that paired, say, Florida State vs. Alabama and Ohio State vs. Auburn, with the winners meeting the following weekend for the national championship.

It’s best when the top teams and the most outstanding players take to the field and settle it between the goal posts. Unfortunately that won’t be the case this year.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.



Tom Lindley is a sports columnist for the CNHI News Service. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com. - See more at: http://www.cnhinews.com/cnhinewsservice-all/x2136379024/Long-gone-basketball-league-leaves-a-costly-legacy#sthash.7er2TZ0O.dpuf

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Community Events
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.