Ethics Quiz: Awarding An Accused Rapist The Heisman Trophy

jameis2Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was cool, collected and funny delivering the “Top Ten” on David Letterman last night, but to me, the hijinks seemed out of sync with reality, fairness and justice somehow.

The 19 year-old-Florida State University star quarterback became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner ever when he was named college football’s most outstanding player Saturday night in New York. He is also the youngest accused rapist to be awarded the Heisman.

That award  symbolizes football’s ongoing ethics problem. The pro game’s brutal, uber-macho and “the ends justify the means” culture that has players maiming each other as the crowd cheers and multiple felons on the field in most games has reached into the lower reaches of football, with both colleges and high schools breeding arrogant, entitled jerks who get special treatment through their pampered academic careers and too often emerge from from the football machine as polished sociopaths. The Penn State horror story was a symptom of this. Is Winston’s award another?

It hasn’t been featured in many of the exultant stories about the Heisman winner, but a year ago, on December 7, he was accused of rape by an FSU co-ed. Last week the prosecutors—just in time for the Heisman!—declared that they had not found enough evidence to convict him, which means that they did not have enough evidence to ethically prosecute him. The accuser’s attorney, Patricia Carroll, immediately condemned the decision and the  investigation that led to it, detailing multiple irregularities in the the handling of evidence and testimony. Writes Slate’s legal reporter Emily Bazelon:

“Carroll is right that the police botched the investigation from the start. And I’m impressed with the tenacity of her client, who is a student at FSU. The allegations she made have already cost her—she has had to withdraw from classes amid a torrent of criticism, while Winston keeps winning on the field and is a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The problem is that the mistakes the police made at the outset, plus what looks like some fumbling by the state attorney’s office, will be hard for the attorney general to fix now.”

Carroll has demanded an independent inquiry from the state, but based on the negative response from Florida’s Governor Rick Scott—the same governor who appointed a biased special prosecutor to make certain George Zimmerman was charged with murder in another case where there was insufficient evidence for a conviction–that seems unlikely. A civil suit is probably coming

The Heisman is supposed to present to the nation, and the nation’s aspiring football players, a shining example of athletic prowess and, presumably, sportsmanship, though the award is simply designated as honoring a year’s “outstanding” college player. Can one be both an accused rapist and “outstanding’? Maybe even a convicted rapist would be fine with the voters; I wouldn’t bet against it, knowing football.

In the U.S., an individual is regarded as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, following a fair trial. Does fairness to Jameis Winston require that voters (previous winners, sportswriters, and a survey of fans conducted by ESPN that constitutes one vote) ignore the shadow of an unresolved rape accusation hovering over him?

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz, then, is this:

Should the rape accusation against Jameis Winston have been taken into consideration by the Heisman Trophy voters?

You’re going to hate this answer from me, but I think it should. The record of schools and communities covering up for local athletic heroes is long and horrible, and as Bazelon and Carroll have pointed out, this alleged victim’s claims were undermined by a flawed (or intentionally half-hearted?)  investigation. Accusations of serious crimes are not nothing, nor should they be regarded as such. They are evidence of a possible problem, and journalists routinely inform the public about them when the accused but unprosecuted are candidates for office or potential appointees for important positions. A candidate for a powerful and important job in the corporate world would find a rape accusation a serious career handicap. A candidate for governor, Senator or President would find it a fatal obstacle. Such an incident, if revealed, would have a negative impact on a college graduate’s chances of getting admitted to law school or an elite military academy. Why shouldn’t Heisman voters prefer, out of the vast range of candidates available to them, one who has managed not to be credibly accused of rape?

I admit, having just read the nauseating comments on Gawker reacting to George Zimmerman’s auctioning off a (pretty pathetic) piece of his “art” on Ebay, I am also struck by the blatant double standard applied to the Martin-Zimmerman case and Winston’s alleged rape. There was no national uproar over the fact that Winston was allowed to go on with his life while the incident was being investigated for a full year before authorities decided whether to prosecute, yet a far shorter delay for further investigation in Zimmerman’s case was universally cited by activists as a evidence of a racially biased cover-up. (Winston is black, while Zimmerman is only partly black, so there’s that.) The President of the United States also didn’t choose to compare the alleged victim in the rape case  to his own offspring either, presumably because it was the accused perpetrator, not the victim, that looks like him.

I know: if Winston’s accuser is, as Winston claims, crying rape over consensual sex gone wrong, then to rob him of the prestigious award his on-the-field exploits have earned because of a false accusation would be unfair, even tragic. I also recognize that celebrities and especially athletes are targets of false accusations. That’s why this is a quiz; I’m not certain what is the most ethical result. At this point, however, I reluctantly side with the position that accused rapists, absent outright exoneration, shouldn’t be presented to the public and the culture as heroes.

_____________________________

Sources: Slate, ESPN 1, 2

 

45 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Quizzes, Rights, Sports

45 responses to “Ethics Quiz: Awarding An Accused Rapist The Heisman Trophy

  1. John Robins

    Part of the problem with collegiate athletics, particularly football and basket ball, is the money. [It seems always either money or power in just about everything.] Colleges use their athletic programs, among other things, to solicit money from alumni, the most avid of whom are buying bragging rights. when was the last time you heard someone say “My college newspaper is better than yours.” Thus, colleges dump tons of money into their football and basketball programs to win, and, since winning is everything, those that create wins are exempt from the rules that apply to us ordinary mortals. Personally, I think the Heisman award has become a symbol of which high-profile college has the bst public relations department–it’s all hype. I have no dubt that Winston is an outstanding athlete–in that he does things athletic outstandingly–but I don’t know what kind of person he is. Does he deserve the Heisman? I don’t know, but until the people who vote look at every football player in America, instead of those who are best promoted by their college’s P>R. departments, I’ll remain skeptical.

  2. brookingstyler

    IMO Jameis had consensual sex with this woman. It was corroborated by the 2 roommates (yeah…I know…”friends”). But their stories ring true. The accuser claims she was so blacked out part of the time that her story is all over the place, yet tox reports look like bac was not high. She never mentions sex with her real bf (dna on her),nor will she cooperate enough to even name him for tpd. …Never mentions how her knees end up as red and raw as they do despite claiming she was raped on her back (in a room where the door never locks right, and the room mates bug them during the act). Meanwhile, JM and cronies say she gave him a hummer and then moved into the bathroom. Bazelon should be taken to task for her knee-jerk rubber stamping of rape accusations, here. I am not surprised JM is a “playa” and I can’t condone using cleat chasing groupies as something to be proud of. But, I doubt very much this was a rape.

    • I don’t think there’s any way to tell. The girl knew what she was up against, and has suffered as a result of her accusation, receiving death threats and the usual. The fact that the investigation was so protracted and loused up, with evidence being destroyed, was unfair to both accused and accuser. After the Duke lacrosse fiasco, is seems the pendulum may have swung too far the wrong way.

      All things being equal, I will usually favor the candidate who hasn’t been accused of a major crime. It is true that there is sometimes smoke without fire, but it is rarer still for there to be fire without smoke.

  3. Arthur in Maine

    It’s a nasty situation for certain. My conclusion: If the case was still active when the final candidate selections were being made, then yes – he should absolutely have been left out of consideration. Given that no prosecution was forthcoming, it is reasonable that he remained a candidate. Were this not the case, he would have ended up the potential victim of a false accusation; though it happens (as we’ve seen in the cited Zimmerman/Martin case), one’s life should not be negatively impacted by unsupported allegations.

    I feel comfortable in saying this for reasons beyond the issue of basic fairness. Though civil action is often a matter of who does a better job of selling the story, Winston’s accuser may still be afforded a measure of justice if she prevails in a civil suit. She will be afforded a far larger measure of justice if, prevailing in the civil suit (and as would seem likely in this post-Aaron Hernandez age), Winston is denied an opportunity to turn pro because of it. Whatever else one thinks of the NFL’s operating model, they realize they’ve got a major problem on their hands and it’s a safe bet that both teams and the league are going to be looking more carefully at the character of their players – particularly their draft picks.

    Those potential costs to Winston would certainly not be fair compensation for the trauma and mental anguish of rape if her allegations are true. If they are, she deserves more than that – including jail time for Winston. But given the alleged screwups of the cops, that measure of justice has already been denied her. Meantime, were the Heisman committee to deny Winston the award the basis of an unproven allegation – which means that it could be false – it would be he who was denied justice.

    • Yes, I’ve been trying to find out when the votes were cast. I’m pretty sure that the investigation was still pending, but I can’t find the voting date.

      • Arthur in Maine

        If you do find that out, Jack, it would be interesting to know – though one thing we will probably NOT know is if there were any provisional considerations in play.

        For example: it’s conceivable that the committee said “We’ll vote based solely on on-field performance, but if Winston comes out on top and the case is still pending, we’ll award the trophy to the second-place finisher. If he wins and the case is resolved in his favor before we announce, then he gets it.”

        I think it unlikely that they would ever make a statement to that effect.

      • FinlayOshea

        A story on Bloomberg Business week, dated 11/29 says this:

        Ballots for the Heisman Trophy have been sent to voters with a Dec. 5 due date, making this weekend’s slate of games hugely important in deciding the outcome of college football’s top individual honor. In most years at this point in the season, forecasting the winner can be relatively easy, but 2013 is anything but normal, and several players—all flawed in the eyes of voters—have reasonable shots of winning.
        *******

        http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-29/the-data-behind-the-wide-open-heisman-trophy-race

        So we might ASSume (yes, I know) that the ballots were sent out before 12/5.

        State Attorney Meggs gave a press conference Thurs. Dec 5th re: case closed / lack of evidence.

        Simultaneous occurrences?

        P.S.:
        Not even the official Heisman Trophy website mentions a date. :-(

      • Ulrike

        The finalists were appointed Dezember 9th. If last night was the 16th and a week ago means minus 7 days then that would coincide exactly to the day with December 9th.

        On a different note: I find is suspicious of any human being to be able to perform on national telly and be “cool, collected and funny” after the trepidations that are involved in such a trial. (trial as a figure of speech not a judicial term). I find such compartmentalisation sociopathic in itself.

  4. There’s that pesky perception-is-reality thing, again.

  5. JutGory

    Jack, Do you think Clarence Thomas’ nomination should have been withdrawn just because Anita Hill stepped forward? That gives a lot of power to people with no ethics. There was also a recent example of the high school team that had its season (?) cancelled because someone wrote a racial slur on the house of one of its players. The teammates were blamed, but it turned out to be the mother. These seem to be analogous to your example.
    If not, how are they different?
    -Jut

    • I don’t. But there was NO evidence in that case at all, just an ambush accusation with political motivation. There was evidence, including DNA evidence, in the FSU case. I don’t think the episodes are analogous.

  6. According to Wikipedia (a cite I love but take with a grain of salt at times), “the Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (usually known colloquially as the Heisman Trophy or the Heisman), is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.” That would seem to exclude someone who is accused of a violent crime, notwithstanding the constitutional protection of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. The Heisman Trophy awards someone whose ‘performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity’. . I note that some awarded the trophy have been stripped of the honor after evidence of misconduct came to light (Reggie Bush, for instance). Therefore, personal character is a factor and accusations of rape would impugn the candidate’s character and integrity (until the case is resolved), thereby excluding that candidate from consideration.

    As a side note, I see that Gawker refers to George Zimmerman as ‘the perennial troublemaker-slash-black-teen-killer’ and the article concludes with a lamentation and an emoticon: ‘God bless America :-(

    jvb

    • The comments, and some of the blogs commenting on the article, also refer to Zimmerman, a rehistered Democrat, as a “right-winger,’ because, of course, right-wingers like to kill black kids.

      The ‘performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity’ language would seem to limit these qualities to on-field and football-reacted conduct only, as I read them. Reggie Bush was stripped of his award for breaking NCAA rules.

      • JutGory

        Jack, I agree. Looking it up, an article said this: One of the few guidelines given to Heisman Trophy voters is that a player must be in compliance with NCAA rules to be eligible for the trophy.
        Here is the source: http://www.espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncf/news/story?id=5572827
        -Jut

      • I agree – Reggie Bush lost his trophy because he broke NCAA rules. Integrity is not defined or limited but could be construed as to on-field or athletic performance in the context of the standards, though. So, your point is well-taken. It’s is a hard choice but I would conclude that he should have been excluded because of the rape allegations, but I would exclude many of the candidates because they are obnoxious, which I know is not a standard for awarding or denying the trophy.

        jvb

  7. wyogranny

    It’s far too easy to bring a false accusation of rape and ruin someone’s life. It’s also far too easy for a college athlete to get away with rape. I think the best thing to do is not award an accused rapist an award that sets them us as an example of excellence. If this girl is lying it’s an injustice to Mr. Winston, but there is at least an even chance that she is not.
    This is a case where bad behavior results in even worse consequences for both of the players. If they hadn’t been promiscuous there would be no basis for the accusation. Athletes know about the very real possibility of false accusations. Maybe it’s unfair, but it should be a pretty good incentive to be careful about their behavior.

    • Liberal Dan

      It is actually not easy to bring any accusation of rape. Police officers are known to ask women if they enjoyed it at any point in time of the encounter.

      Of course, if you didn’t actually suffer the trauma of rape I would guess bringing a false accusation would be easier.

      But I am not sure how you calculate how there is an even change either way.

      • wyogranny

        I calculate that they each have incentives to lie and they both were involved in behaviors that make their story implausible. It’s a wash unless there is evidence that I haven’t heard about.

  8. Luke G

    I usually can find something to agree with in your calls, Jack, but I think you have this one absolutely wrong. If the case were still pending, or particularly if charges had been brought but a verdict not found, I could possibly see justification in considering the matter undecided. This isn’t that. He may in fact be a rapist who has gotten away with it, but the legal system is designed to let criminals go rather than convict the innocent. There’s parallels here to two other posts you’ve put up lately, where you fell on the exact opposite side.

    In the “Lie of the Year” post, you rightfully criticized PolitiFact for its “unsettled” verdict on Boehner’s use of military aircraft. No evidence was available that he did it, no proof to be found, but they called it undecided because something might come up. This is a similar incident- sure, he very well may have raped her, but the investigation didn’t find enough evidence to bring charges. That means for intents and purposes he is innocent, not “accused” any longer for any usable definition of the word. Otherwise you’re still holding him accountable for something he might have done, if we could just find evidence.

    Second, in the post on the teen drunk driver and his apparently light sentence. One of your themes there, especially in the comments, was that just because other crimes are punished with backbreaking sentences leaving no chance for rehabilitation, doesn’t make it right for THIS teen to be treated so harshly. This is the same setup- you even point out in this post that Zimmerman got shafted, the president stepped in against him, the media decried him, etc. And yes, those things happened- but they were wrong (as you said at the time) when they happened to Z, and just because they happened to one person doesn’t justify them happening again.

    Finally, I don’t know where you get the notion that this story isn’t featured in many stories about Winston. It is the only storyline about him that the media covers. When he led his team to an undefeated regular season, locking down a trip to the national title game and putting a huge signature on his Heisman resume, the first reporter to interview him had the gall to ask him why he didn’t talk to reporters about the ongoing investigation. He had the brains to just walk away from that one. I think the ethical thing here is, given the finding of the investigation that there was insufficient evidence, he is treated as absolutely innocent. That is subject to change- if it is found that the investigation was improper, he may be placed under suspicion then, but not until. Demanding that he have “outright exoneration” before being treated as innocent is placing a burden of proving innocence, which is firmly against legal principles.

    • Liberal Dan

      “Demanding that he have “outright exoneration” before being treated as innocent is placing a burden of proving innocence, which is firmly against legal principles.”

      Nominee for quote of the day right there ladies and gentlemen! Amen!

    • Fred

      Well, not ALL intents and purposes.

      I’d absolutely warn a hypothetical daughter away from him.

      Denying him a Heisman is a harder call.

      • Luke G

        Fair enough. Personal distinctions are different, though- I’m sure there’s plenty of individuals or types of person you’d caution that hypothetical daughter about, as would I. I consider that the “asshole exemption-” you may not be able to make someone face any consequences for something, but you can think they are an asshole and treat them as such. The Heisman voters don’t have to like a candidate personally, think he’s a great guy, or want him to date their daughters. They have to think he’s the best football player and plays with honor and sportsmanship. A conviction might interrupt that. An accusation, especially one found insufficient to bring charges, no.

  9. Liberal Dan

    “You’re going to hate this answer from me, but I think it should. The record of schools and communities covering up for local athletic heroes is long and horrible, and as Bazelon and Carroll have pointed out, this alleged victim’s claims were undermined by a flawed (or intentionally half-hearted?) investigation.”

    Yes, I hate the answer. No, it should not have been taken into account. Yes there is a long pathetic record of entities covering up the actions of local athletes who are viewed as heroes. Fix THAT problem. Don’t punish someone, especially when the crime is “he said, she said”. If there was video evidence or other compelling evidence that corroborated her story then perhaps we would have a different situation.

    “Accusations of serious crimes are not nothing, nor should they be regarded as such. They are evidence of a possible problem, and journalists routinely inform the public about them when the accused but unprosecuted are candidates for office or potential appointees for important positions”

    While I agree they are not nothing, I disagree with the media giving such public outing of anyone accused of rape. Duke anyone? How long were those men branded as rapists? How about Hofstra? People who allege crimes of sexual violence should be taken very seriously and the charges made should be investigated. However, that doesn’t mean tarring and feathering the accused, especially if the police determine there is not enough evidence to persue charges (in this case, for example, no signs of trauma were found on the victim).

    “Such an incident, if revealed, would have a negative impact on a college graduate’s chances of getting admitted to law school or an elite military academy. Why shouldn’t Heisman voters prefer, out of the vast range of candidates available to them, one who has managed not to be credibly accused of rape?”
    So perhaps we shoud be fixing the problem of revealing such incidents, especially before charges are FILED.

    “I am also struck by the blatant double standard applied to the Martin-Zimmerman case and Winston’s alleged rape. There was no national uproar over the fact that Winston was allowed to go on with his life while the incident was being investigated for a full year before authorities decided whether to prosecute, yet a far shorter delay for further investigation in Zimmerman’s case was universally cited by activists as a evidence of a racially biased cover-up.”

    We know more facts about the Zimmerman case than we do about the accusations made about Mr. Winston. I feel your comparison is an apples and oranges one.

    I personally HATE when people who are accused of crimes are pulled off teams or taken off their jobs before an arrest is even made.

    “At this point, however, I reluctantly side with the position that accused rapists, absent outright exoneration, shouldn’t be presented to the public and the culture as heroes.”
    They shouldn’t be presented as anything. An accusation without charges being brought should not be presented to the public and culture in any way pertaining to the alleged crimes. Perhaps if charged then we can talk about it. But there were no charges here. And if we believe the lack of charges is because a corrupt system then we should fix that system.

    Keeping Wilson from the Heismann because of a flawed system that MAY have allowed him to get off scott free is like wiping your nose and thinking you are getting rid of your cold.

    • I mostly agree with Liberal Dan and Luke G above.

      I think this whole episode involving this player has too many issues during the start of and throughout the investigation that represent ethical problems that needed fixing.

      This is more like a mini train wreck.

  10. I probably seemed in agreement with Jack with my initial one-liner (at Dec 17 at 12:49 pm): “There’s that pesky perception-is-reality thing, again.”

    But in reality, I do not agree with Jack’s answer to the quiz question. I think the better of the good sense being made here is being made by several commenters, including Liberal Dan.

    Problems in the justice system do not justify sacrificing Heisman winner Winston’s opportunity. The same goes for problems in the sports culture, such as Jack has noted. Problems in the larger culture – where an accusation of rape, combined with many circumstances, stigmatizes the accused with presumed guilt with a burden to prove innocence – are largely why a system of true justice must exist to secure the blessings of liberty, despite pressure for emotional, mob rule.

    Any later charging and finding of guilt on Winston’s part can result in his Heisman Trophy award being taken away from him – later. Proven guilt of a crime would conflict clearly and, I think, irreconcilably, with the intended qualifications for the Heisman. But for now, Winston is innocent. There may indeed have been an incident of rape that to date remains unproved and unpunished. But that really isn’t, and shouldn’t be, Winston’s obstacle or burden.

    Jack, about some of your post: I remain unsettled – maybe the best term is, “alarmed” – by some comparisons you have used, which come across to me as race-hustling. I know, your sense of justice is far more finely tuned than mine, but I just do not see good reason for comparing the Winston non-case with the Zimmerman case. Rape is horrible, and I would even be agreeable to a death penalty in some cases of rape. But, comparing a case of accusation of rape to a case where someone was shot and killed is not, to me, a comparison worthy of arguing that the justice system is, or is not, racially biased or “racist.”

    • FinlayOshea

      But, comparing a case of accusation of rape to a case where someone was shot and killed is not, to me, a comparison worthy of arguing that the justice system is, or is not, racially biased or “racist.”
      ************
      Eeyore, I don’t think Jack is comparing the actual crimes, but rather the inconsistent reaction to the two crimes by Americans (society).
      Just as people were appalled over George Zimmerman not being investigated or arrested right away, they also should have been appalled over the state of FL doing NOTHING about investigating an alleged rape for one year.
      Let’s face it here, there is a real possibility that this case was neglected because the accused is a star football player.
      Can you imagine the money involved?
      Can’t have The Golden Boy behind bars when the trophies come out!
      Oh no!

    • You don’t? In both cases, in the same state, there was evidence of a possible crime but insufficient evidence to charge without more, to be found, or not, upon investigation. In one case, the defense was self-defense; in the other, the claim of consent. In both cases, the potential defendant was released on his own recognizance pending further investigation. In one case, a full year was allowed for this investigation without any accusations of a cover-up, a disregarded victim, or police incompetence, which could have been justifiably raised because the individual was a local celebrity. In the other, a mere month was deemed proof of a cover-up by the national media and real race-hustlers, on the false presumption that a white, non-celebrity was being favored over a black victim—even though it turned out that said perp was not in fact white. That month was used to mount a full bore political assault on the system and the state, with the alleged perp then being arrested and charged based on what was shown at trial to be no conclusive evidence at all, after the President of the United States and the Congressional Black Caucus applied pressure through public statements. In the other case, with the black celebrity, charges were dropped just in time for him to get his award, the fame, and the Letterman gig. You really don’t see a disparity?

      What race hustling? It’s a double standard, pure and simple. Rape and murder are both serious felonies and crimes of violence. Their relative penalties have nothing to do with the comparison here. The issue is charging and the time required for reasonable investigation. Are you suggesting that because murder is a more serious crime, then it should be charged with LESS thorough investigation? That having accused rapists roam free is acceptable while having accused murderers roam free is not, when neither have been shown to be sufficiently likely to be guilty enough to sustain a conviction?

      Tell me, what if their crimes were reversed? If the year-long, botched investigation had resulted in Heisman candidate George Zimmerman being exonerated in the killing of a young black co-ed on the grounds that self-defense couldn’t be disproven (just as consensual sex can’t be disproven now), should they still vote to give him the Heisman? Well, why not? He would still be innocent, right?

  11. Marlboro.Stan (@MarlboroStan)

    Here we go. Jack is showing his conservative side again. Just last week he was supporting a system that allowed a 16 year old to get away with murdering four people and maiming 10 others.

    This week he is upset that the EXACT SAME SYSTEM allows this man to go free. Furthermore, he is upset he got the Heisman. Which has NOTHING to do with the accusation. And its just that, an ACCUSATION.

    Which is is Jack? Is the system broken or is the system NOT broken?

    • I did mention that you were an idiot, didn’t I? Several times? Just wanted to make sure. Because, you know, you should address that.

      There is nothing in the Heisman post indicting the system at all. The system is fine. Corrupt and incompetent human beings just screw it up. Nor was I agitating for a different result as far as prosecution goes. I was suggesting that the same system in the same state should work the same way in all cases where investigation is required before charging and where sufficient evidence to convict is required before an ethical charge can be brought.

      The post posited that athletic organizations should not be honoring rapists or likely rapists, and that it appears one’s status as a rapist does not handicap one’s candidacy at all. Actually, Arthur pretty accurately and correctly summed up the rational position here, none of which you, as an idiot, seem to be capable of grasping.

      Actually, Stan, Santa, Stan or whatever you call yourself in real life, I have concluded that you aren’t really an idiot, because one as idiotic as you pose here couldn’t operate a keyboard or feed himself. You are really a particularly unamusing troll, and for that reason, you’re banned the next time you post here. That post, no matter what it says, will be sent directly past GO, without 200 dollars, to Spam. You’ve wasted enough of my time.

      • Julian Hung

        And of course, Stan misses the obvious point that you definitely wouldn’t have approved of Couch winning the Heisman were he an athlete. And also that you’ve spoken out for falsely accused black men before.

    • Julian Hung

      Hilariously enough, a lot off the commentators who disagree with Jack on this are actually far more conservative than him. So much for saying that Jack’s position is “conservative”, Mr. “Has-The-IQ-Of-A-Half-Smoked-Cigar”.

  12. FinlayOshea

    I admit, having just read the nauseating comments on Gawker reacting to George Zimmerman’s auctioning off a (pretty pathetic) piece of his “art” on Ebay, I am also struck by the blatant double standard applied to the Martin-Zimmerman case and Winston’s alleged rape. There was no national uproar over the fact that Winston was allowed to go on with his life while the incident was being investigated for a full year before authorities decided whether to prosecute, yet a far shorter delay for further investigation in Zimmerman’s case was universally cited by activists as a evidence of a racially biased cover-up.
    **************

    Yes, lovely, isn’t it?
    Aided by Rick Scott and his Idiot “special prosecutor”.
    “Hey, look everybody, GZ is such a bad guy that he needs a special prosecutor!”
    “If he’s that bad he must be guilty!”
    Jeb Bush never looked so good.

  13. Elizabeth I

    This is all sickening to me. Since when should a Heisman winner gain glory that is so far above and beyond any real achievement in adult life? It’s all bullshit. Winston strikes me as one who will “slide by” life based on on barely post-adolescent achievement. Good luck to you Win… (a Churchill you will never be…)

    The only Heisman trophy winner I really respect is Mark Harmon (of NCIS fame and whose father also won the Heisman). He went on to a great acting and TV acting career, and according to a friend of mine who has had several guest acting spots on the show Harmon is one of the “kindest, most generous actors and people he’s ever met.”

    While it’s perhaps it’s true that Winston should be given the benefit of the doubt in this case — until the facts come out — why the big brouhaha? Name three other Heisman winners who made it on Letterman. Who really give a good goddamn about how well college players do? Under a shadow or not, there are about 50,000 more interesting people that Letterman could have on as guests. For that mattter, someone count up the number of Olympics gold-medal winner who show up for Letterman. Maybe they just think he’s a much of an asshole as I do…

    Baseball player who are even ACCUSED of using performance-enhancing drugs don’t show up on late night TV. But an accused rapist is okay?

    Okay, I already gave you one Heisman winner who went on Letterman. It was indeed Mark Harmon, when his show was #1 for about 10 years. It struck me immediately that all the ultra-liberal, geek host want talk about… The F—- Heisman! Harmon was gracious, as always, but it was clear to me that NCIS is too conservative for Letterman — and he only let Harmon reach back about 35 years to his college fame. I admire Harmon for his gentile response. If I were him I would have simply asked, “Since I have the #1 TV show, why are you ignoring it? Scared of the issues you little shit? Okay, let’s talk football, if that’s all you can handle, but really, you won’t see me back and I think you should retire.” A gentleman is a gentleman. And neither Winston nor Letterman are one.

    But then, again, and very repetitive, I know, we are a nation of morons.

    • Liberal Dan

      I love NCIS. It never struck me as a “Conservative” show.

    • Beth

      I don’t watch Letterman, but I’ll speculate that he wanted to talk about the Heisman because every other person on his show is an actor and he wanted to talk about something that is unique about Harmon. Liven things up a bit. Everyone is on a late night talk show to promote a show, movie, or book.

  14. Julian Hung

    I’ll have to go with the crowd here; sure, it’s shitty that the investigation seems to have been botched, but I don’t think Winston should be punished for the incompetence of others (even if he may or may not have benefited from it).

  15. Gunter

    Mark Harmon is not a Heisman winner.

  16. Michael Ejercito

    The answer is, unless he is charged, we should treat him as innocent.

    • Is the charge the key, or the acquittal? So should Casey Anthony be regarded as as responsible a baby sitter as anyone else? Do you want OJ dating your sister? “Innocent until proven guilty” is a construct for the burden of proof, not other interactions. If I suspect that Jameis did what was alleged because of what I have observed and read, an I ethically obligated to ignore that in my dealings with him, because a botched investigation and bias in favor of a local athletic star precluded charges?

      • Julian Hung

        You know what, I’m surprised Stan never brought this up (then again, maybe that would be expecting too much intelligence from him), but the single similarity this might have with the Couch case is that there might have been additional evidence at the case which may have given further strength for an acquittal (though the fact that experts who looked at the official documents don’t seem to be too happy with it might mitigate against that).

      • Luke G

        So let me give you a counterfactual. Say that Zimmerman was never charged- the governernor resisted the pressure to appoint a special prosecutor, and he was never brought to trial. Would you, then, approve of the newspaper castigating him, reporting his every move, calling him a “likely murderer” (as you call Winston a “likely rapist” above)?

        You’re also asserting without proof, so far as I can see, both that the investigation was botched and that things were biased in his favor. Both of these are possibilities, of course, but what evidence is there other than that the girl’s attourney claims it? She has a vested interest in demanding a new investigation. As you’ve made clear, attourneys advocate everything that may work, it doesn’t mean it’s true or viable.

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