FSU QB Jameis Winston suspended for the first half against Clemson

FSU QB Jameis Winston suspended for the first half against Clemson

Florida State has suspended starting quarterback Jameis Winston for the first half of Saturday's game against No. 22 Clemson a day after Winston shouted a sexually explicit phrase in the middle of the student union on Tuesday.

Winston issued a statement prior to his regularly scheduled media meet saying he was sorry for his "selfish act."

Coach Jimbo Fisher, who was asked about the incident on the ACC teleconference, said he spoke to Winston, and was still mulling punishment.

"We're deciding. We're talking and things (are) going on right now," Fisher said of Winston's status before the punishment was announced. "It's not something that we want or are indicative of. And it's not a good decision. It was something that had to be addressed."

This is the first football-related suspension of any kind for Winston (though he was suspended during the baseball season for the crab legs incident and did serve community service).

Deadspin was the first to report Tuesday’s incident as an array of tweets started popping up saying Winston had stood on a table and yelled an obscene phrase to the crowd. While the phrase cannot be repeated because it is incredibly crass, it is actually a meme that was created earlier this year and people have shouted it during live newscasts.

Fisher was asked whether he was frustrated by his Heisman Trophy winner’s behavior and he said: "It was not a good decision. You can't make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory to any person, race or gender. You have to understand that. You have to be very intelligent about what you say, (because) it matters."

This is just the latest incident in Winston’s sordid and childish tenure at Florida State. Last year, Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a female student and he remains the subject of an ongoing Title IX matter regarding the same alleged victim. In April, he was caught stealing crab legs from a local grocery store. He also was involved in a BB gun fight that resulted in thousands of dollars worth of damage to an apartment complex and he was caught stealing soda from a Burger King.

Yet prior to this weekend's punishment, Winston, who is arguably the best player in the country, has never faced a football-related suspension. He’s never missed a game, never missed a down. His behavior continues to go unchecked in the public eye and is often dismissed as childish pranks. And that would be all well and good if he wasn’t the face of the university, a Heisman Trophy winner and if there wasn’t a pattern of habitual bad behavior. There’s an arrogance to this that comes from being given passes by everyone from the authority figures at Florida State to his father to even the commenters on Dr. Saturday’s various social media platforms and the comments at the bottom of every Winston story.

Is a half-game suspension enough? It's a start. And it's really the first time Winston has faced any reprecussions for his behavior and the first time his on-field play has taken a backseat to his off-field improprieties. We can only hope he learns from this and begins to to change his ways.

"You don't ever want any kind of instances, but we have to keep learning and educating, we have to make better decisions, we have to make good decisions on things," Fisher said. "And we'll try to continue to do that and try to educate.

"The statements in which you make are always going to be more public than statements that other individuals make. That's just the nature of the business, of who you are and what you are."

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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