There are only so many times one can use the excuse “well, he is young” when someone makes a poor decision? Despite making numerous poor decisions, it seems as though this is the phrase often being uttered when it comes to Florida State Seminoles‘ quarterback Jameis Winston.
In case you’ve missed the latest immature action from the most recent Heisman Trophy winner, Winston stood on a table in the middle of the FSU student union and shouted an obscene statement – a statement not worthy of being printed on our site, even in its censored form. This comes just four months after Winston admitted to stealing $32 worth of crab legs from a grocery.
It would be one thing if these events were out of the ordinary for Winston, but they are not. Winston was accused of raping a fellow FSU student in 2012 – a case that has been the center of much controversy. In just his third year at Florida State, Winston has proven to be consistent in two areas – producing on the football field and screwing up off of it.
Seminole’s coach Jimbo Fisher took action by suspending Winston for the first half of Saturday’s game against the Clemson Tigers – but is that enough? Much like the suspension of Johnny Manziel the year before, such a punishment hardly sets an example. As we saw with Manziel, such discipline hardly made enough of an impression on him to change his ways.
What will it take for Winston to change his ways? Unfortunately, it will most likely take a drastic penalty or repercussion for Winston to see the error in his ways. Heck, even being suspended from his FSU baseball team failed to wake him up. Despite his coach attempting to send a message, Winston still had football to fall back on. After all, he was known for his football pedigree, not necessarily accolades from baseball. People loved him, and he has been basking in the glory of stardom for quite some time now – so what incentive has he been given to change?
He’s the most popular guy on campus.
He’s one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in college football.
He’s not too far away from becoming a multi-millionaire.
Like many athletes who find themselves in trouble, Winston seems invincible to himself. He can steal from a grocery store and yell obscenities only to face minimal punishment for such actions – he’ll be back on the field this weekend after sitting for 30 minutes.
We are past the excuses for Winston. Sure, he is 20 years old, but at what point do we expect him to grow up and mature? There is a bit of maturity and responsibility that comes with being a professional athlete. And as Winston is soon to find out, his actions will have a lasting impact on his future in the game. His irresponsible behavior is already costing him in terms of his standing with teams. With the state the NFL is in at the moment, teams will be paying even more attention to the behavior of the players they look into drafting. Considering the many red flags attached to Winston already, the list of teams vying for his eventual services is already declining.
Hopefully Winston is able to change his ways and become the mature leader he is capable of becoming. While his future is unlimited, his reckless behavior is in danger of leaving him on misstep away from ramifications that will last much longer than just one half of a football game.
Cover Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images
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