What Did Jameis Winston Say? Why Was Florida State QB Suspended, and for How Long? [Updated]

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
September 17, 2014 Updated: September 20, 2014

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for the the team’s upcoming game against Clemson because of “offensive and vulgar” comments about women.

Winston was originally suspended for half the game but the team announced late Friday night that the suspension is now for the full game. See a video analysis of the suspension extension above.

People are wondering what exactly Winston said to warrant the suspension.

It’s a phrase that apparently started from a fake video that turned into a meme.

“[Expletive] her right in the [expletive]” is the phrase. Several students tweeted Winston stood on campus Tuesday and the comment.

For those wondering, SB Nation says that the phrase alone didn’t get Winston suspended.

“He was reciting a vulgar internet meme whose origin is dumb and harmless, and we should have no doubt just about every college student does something at least as stupid every day. [Source: former college student who still says so many stupid things.] In the absence of context, what he said probably didn’t hurt anyone and should not result in a school punishment,” it said.

“But the context with Winston is simple. He was accused of sexual assault in December 2012, though never charged. Another woman allegedly sought counseling after an encounter with Winston. Whether Jimbo Fisher got sick of distractions or feared media reaction or whatever else, at least a partial suspension for a big game is merited.

“Once you’re a quarterback who’s been accused of sexual assault, you can no longer tell young pupils at a camp that part of the glory of being a quarterback is coming into possession of “all the women,” as Winston did this summer (women as prizes for football players remains an unfortunate trope throughout the sport). And you can no longer climb a table and yell, “[Expletive] her right in the [expletive],” in public with women nearby, as Winston did Tuesday.”

The suspension was announced Wednesday in a joint statement by Florida State interim President Dr. Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox. 

The president and AD said, “As the university’s most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University. Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others.”

The 20-year-old Winston addressed his inappropriate comments before Wednesday’s practice at his weekly press conference, saying: “I have to tone it down.”

Epoch Times Photo

In this July 20, 2014, file photo, Florida State’s Jameis Winston answers a question during a news conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference Football kickoff in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

The Heisman Trophy winner gave a statement in which he added, “I just want to apologize to my university, my coaches and my teammates. I’m not a me person, but in that situation it was a selfish act. That’s not how you do things. I really want to apologize to my teammates because I have now made a selfish act for them.”

Winston’s latest poor off-field decision comes when Florida State is under scrutiny.

Florida State is currently under investigation by the Department of Education for the way it handles reports of sexual assault, including a case involving Winston. The investigation was prompted by a complaint from a FSU student who says Winston assaulted her in 2012.

Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs declined to press charges against Winston last fall.

A lawyer for the woman says the university is currently conducting its own investigation of that incident.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher had said earlier Wednesday that the quarterback would be held accountable for his “derogatory” remarks.

“It’s not something we want or we’re indicative of and it’s not a good decision,” Fisher said. “It was something that has to be addressed.

“You can’t make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory in any way toward any person, race, gender,” said Fisher, whose top-ranked Seminoles host No. 22 Clemson on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown. “The statements in which you make are always going to be made more public than statements that other individuals make,” the coach said. “And that’s just the nature of the business of who you are and what you are. That’s the situation it is and you have to understand that.”

Winston is no stranger to unwanted attention.

While playing for Florida State baseball team, he was suspended for three games and completed 20 hours of community service after acknowledging he stole $32 worth of crab legs from a local grocery store in April. He faced criticism nationwide and was the subject of taunts and jokes in print, online and on social media.

Winston has had other run-ins with police since enrolling at Florida State. Police questioned Winstonand other FSU players in November 2012 after 13 windows were broken at an apartment complex near Doak Campbell Stadium after an apparent BB gun battle. That same month, Winston and teammate Chris Casher were held at gunpoint by campus police for hunting squirrels. The two told police they were shooting squirrels with a pellet gun along a bike trail. Police were also called after a Burger King employee called to complain that Winston was stealing soda.

Winston was not arrested in any of those three incidents.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.