Winston complies with school hearing deadline
Oct. 17, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston has complied with the first deadline in Florida State's code of conduct hearing process, the adviser for the quarterback's family said Friday.
Lawyer David Cornwell said in a statement that Winston will cooperate with the procedure but will not "waive our right to challenge any aspect of this process."
Winston is facing a hearing to determine whether four sections of the code of conduct have been violated — two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment. A former female student said he sexually assaulted her in December 2012.
Winston was required to strike one of three former Florida Supreme Court Justices from a list that will produce the hearing official. He also had to give possible dates for an information session that will precede the formal hearing.
Cornwell requested more information from the woman, including the record from the code of conduct hearing involving football players Chris Casher and Ronald Darby and "all of her prior statements regarding her sexual relationship with Mr. Winston, access to her social media accounts from 2012/2013, and her phone and text message records the night of and the days following the alleged incident."
The woman's lawyer, John Clune, said Cornwell wants to turn this into "media circus."
"We would think his client has had enough of that lately," Clune said in an email. "Both sides will get the same information from the school, both will be able to testify, and the judge will decide. We are not going to allow a whole new disciplinary process just for Jameis Winston."
Both parties can view all materials related to the case at the information session and get details about the process and their rights.
Winston was not arrested in relation to the sexual assault allegations, and Florida State attorney Willie Meggs declined to file charges against Winston last December, citing a lack of evidence.
The Associated Press does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual abuse.
It remains unclear when the formal hearing will take place. The sides must present possible dates for the hearing at the information session, and the university then can set a date. But once a date is specified, either side could request postponements for reasons that would have to be individually reviewed.
Rules specify a formal decision letter must be sent to Winston within 10 class days after the hearing ends. That time limit could be extended "if additional consideration of evidence and deliberation is required," FSU spokeswoman Browning Brooks explained in an email.
Winston is currently not facing charges stemming from another incident brought up in the media recently. Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox said Friday that the university is reviewing whether or not Winston received improper benefits from a large number of autographs being sold online.
"At this time we have no information indicating that he accepted payment for items reported to bear his signature, thereby compromising his athletics eligibility," Wilcox said in the statement. "The fact that items appear on an Internet site bearing the signature of a student-athlete does not singularly determine a violation of NCAA rules.
"We have kept both the conference office and the NCAA apprised of our efforts on this matter. The University takes very seriously any and all allegations of potential rules violations and processes them in accordance with ACC and NCAA policies and procedures."
Winston remains in good standing with the university and continues to play. He's expected to lead the second-ranked Seminoles against No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday.