Can we really blame a 20-year old kid for acting out?
If Jameis Winston weren’t the quarterback of the No. 1 team in the country, the returning Heisman Trophy winner and an extremely young role model to kids playing football everywhere, he would be just like us.
Just as Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, Vince Young and countless others before him, Winston is proving that the microscope that ESPN, FoxSports and other sports media outlets, making millions of dollars off of the hard and un-compensated work of college athletes is just too much for these kids to take.
Winston of course apologized for standing on top of a desk in the Florida State Student Union and shouting an offensive (but juvenile remark) for onlookers to hear (and tweet about).
“That was a selfish act,” he said after getting suspended for two quarters in the next Seminole’s game against N0. 22 Clemson, “and that’s not how you do things around here.”
But it sort of is how things are done around there.
College football players have only one place to look for role models — the NFL.
And boy has the most popular league in all of sports done a great job of making sure its future employees have the right attitude and maturity.
With Week 3 approaching the NFL can’t get itself out of the news with star players like Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson making headlines for their criminal and violent activity off the field.
Florida State is taking a half measure. Sure, suspending Winston for the first half of the Auburn game is meant to scare Winston straight. But it isn’t deterrent enough. Winston has a long history of acting out. He was twice cited for theft, was accused of sexual assault, and was questioned after a BB gun broke some windows.
Appropriate behavior in any other employment environment wouldn’t have nearly the latitude the NFL has had with its players, and the NCAA has with its scholastic athletes.
Is anyone surprised? It’s all about the money baby.
Follow Metro Philadelphia sports editor Evan Macy on twitter @Evan_Macy