In a decision that may impact a wide spectrum of issues -- including but hardly limited to the Heisman Trophy and NFL Draft -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged in the alleged rape of a fellow student.
State Attorney Willie Meggs, whose office took over the investigation last month from Tallahassee police, made the formal announcement from his office in the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee on Thursday.
"We have a duty as prosecutors to only file those charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of a conviction," Meggs said. "After reviewing all of the evidence of the case, we did not feel like we could meet that burden. I will let y'all determine that when you review the facts. We didn't feel we had sufficient evidence to go forward, to bring the case to trial to prove it was not consensual."
The decision ended more than three weeks of intense, national scrutiny of the case involving the leader of undefeated Florida State, the No. 1-ranked team in college football. Florida State plays for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. Winston, a first-year starter, is considered the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy.
--Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, who has thrown for 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions this year, said he will be returning for his senior season with the Bears.
"I will definitely be back next year," Petty told KWTX-TV in Waco on Wednesday.
The No. 9 Bears (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) lead the nation with 635.1 yards and 55.4 points per game going into its regular-season finale against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. Petty has thrown for 3,557 yards and has rushed for 168 yards and another 11 touchdowns. He is rated as the No. 3 quarterback prospect for the 2015 draft by NFLDraftScout.com.
--Missouri coach Gary Pinkel took his name out of the running for the same position at the University of Washington on Thursday.
The Huskies will be led in their bowl preparations by interim coach Marques Tuisosopo, Washington athletic director Scott announced after a meeting. Tuisosopo, a former Washington quarterback, was the team's quarterbacks coach this past season.
Pinkel was an assistant coach at Washington for 12 seasons but turned down an interview in 2008, when Steve Sarkisian was hired. Sarkisian left Washington on Monday, accepting what he called his dream job at Southern Cal.
Pinkel and the Tigers (11-1) are playing for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday in Missouri's second year in the league. He is one of three finalists for the 2013 national coach of the year award. Pinkel is 101-62 at Missouri since taking that job in 2001.