The fact that Jameis Winston isn’t coming to his own defense in this whole charade of allegations and now not-allegations about his involvement in a rape case that extends back to 2012 is clearly affecting some Heisman voters and it could cost him the award.
The young freshman star is under fire in the eye of the public but has taken the “let my play speak for itself and let my lawyers handle it” approach. While that may or may not be the suggested choice from his attorneys or what have you, it’s not doing him any favors in the race to become college football’s most heralded athlete of 2013.
On ESPN’s “First Take” this morning, analysts Robert Smith, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless debated the decision to not say anything by Winston. In the end it wasn’t a debate at all though, as each came to the conclusion that Winston’s anonymity on his own behalf is not only hurting the public opinion of him, but also is costing him crucial Heisman votes as there is ‘much doubt’ in the minds of the voters.
Despite the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ clause that our justice system upholds, people want to see Winston’s face. I know he’s trying to focus on winning football games and his team and all that, but this needs to be addressed by the man himself. This isn’t high school where you can just ignore the situation and eventually it just disappears. This is major college football where everything comes out sooner or later.
He doesn’t even have to say much, just go on public record via some national outlet as saying “I never raped anybody. My character has been called into question and it’s a lie”. That’s it… unless of course this isn’t a lie, in which case staying silent would be the best option.
And that’s the issue that’s facing Winston right now if he doesn’t come forward himself to address the situation.