Jameis Winston joined Chris Weinke and Charlie Ward as Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks for Florida State last season when he helped guide the Seminoles to an undefeated season and the national championship, and as part of this small family, the two former Florida State quarterbacks are naturally concerned after Winston’s latest off-the-field incident.
Winston was issued a citation after he walked out of a Tallahassee Publix with $32.72 worth of crab legs and crawfish without paying and will have to pay a fine and do community service to avoid criminal charges. He was also suspended from the Seminoles baseball team.
After his sexual assault allegations made him the subject of controversy en route to the Heisman and title last season, Winston has been an subject to a flurry of criticisms questioning his values, ethics and judgment leading Weinke and Ward to show genuine concern like an older brother in comments to Jim Henry of USA Today.
“My hope that it was just an honest mistake and he got caught up and just forgot,” said Weinke, who won the Heisman in 2000. You have to understand whatever decision or move you make is going to be scrutinized very closely.”
“We all know who he is and what he’s about, and that makes it tough,” said Ward, who in 1993 won the Heisman and national title. “It’s part of his maturation process as he continues to grow into a young man.”
Honest mistake? Part of the maturation process?
College is the time when you’re supposed to mature and develop into an adult and at 20 years old, Winston is still in the process of doing. High-profile college athletes aren’t privy to the same rope that others his age receive for their” honest mistakes” and their path through the maturation process, but Weinke who won the Heisman at the age of 28 says this comes with the territory and Winston has to realize that.
“Our actions are going to be magnified, whether good, bad or indifferent, and we have to be conscious of that,” Weinke said.
Hopefully for Winston he will take to heart what Weinke and Ward are saying and he will learn from his mistakes and keep himself out of trouble and out of the limelight.