Jameis Winston will sit out the entire game and not just the first half of Florida State’s showdown against Clemson on Saturday, interim President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox announced late Friday night.
Winston’s added suspension was due to the FSU administration finding a discrepancy and taking issue with his account of where he was standing — whether he was standing on the ground or had jumped up on a table — when he said the obscenities Tuesday, FOX Sports 1 College Football Insider Bruce Feldman reports.
Winston was suspended for the first half earlier this week after making "offensive and vulgar" comments about women — the latest embarrassment in a growing list of poor decisions off the field. Stokes and Wilcox announced in a joint statement Wednesday that the quarterback also will undergo internal discipline, but did not provide details of the punishment.
The decision was met with criticism that the punishment was too light.
The statement released by the university Friday read, "Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday’s incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night."
Several students tweeted Winston stood on campus Tuesday and shouted a lascivious comment about female anatomy that may have derived from an Internet meme. (Our @TheBuzzer team has more on this.)
Coach Jimbo Fisher was asked about the half-game suspension after practice Thursday and said, "We’re in charge. It’s our team. That’s what we thought. We went with the consequences and we’re ready to move on."
Fisher also said after that practice that the president and athletic director are always involved in university policy, but declined to answer when asked if it’s normal for them to be involved in team discipline.
The 20-year-old Winston addressed his inappropriate comments before Wednesday’s practice at his weekly press conference, saying: "I have to tone it down."
The Heisman Trophy winner has made similar comments after previous incidents and Florida State seems to be growing less tolerant of his discretions.
While playing for the Florida State baseball team, he was suspended for three games and completed 20 hours of community service after acknowledging he stole $32 worth of crab legs from a local grocery store in April. Before the football season, he said he had matured, learned what it takes to be a leader and understood that he needed to be more careful in his personal life.
The school president and AD admonished him Wednesday for doing just the opposite.
"As the university’s most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University," their joint statement said. "Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others."
Winston’s latest poor judgment comes when Florida State is under scrutiny.
The university is currently under investigation by the Department of Education for the way it handles reports of sexual assault, including a case involving Winston. The investigation was prompted by a complaint from a FSU student who says Winston assaulted her in 2012.
State Attorney Willie Meggs declined to press charges against Winston last fall.
A lawyer for the woman says the university is currently conducting its own investigation of that incident.
Winston has had other run-ins with police since enrolling at the university.
Police questioned Winston and other FSU players in November 2012 after 13 windows were broken at an apartment complex near Doak Campbell Stadium after an apparent BB gun battle. That same month, Winston and teammate Chris Casher were held at gunpoint by campus police for hunting squirrels. The two told police they were shooting squirrels with a pellet gun along a bike trail. Police were also called after a Burger King employee called to complain that Winston was stealing soda.
Winston was not arrested in any of those three incidents.
On Wednesday, the Heisman Trophy winner gave a statement in which apologized for the lewd comments.
"I just want to apologize to my university, my coaches and my teammates. I’m not a me person, but in that situation it was a selfish act," Winston said. "That’s not how you do things. I really want to apologize to my teammates because I have now made a selfish act for them."
Fisher called Winston’s remarks about women "derogatory."
"It’s not something we want or we’re indicative of and it’s not a good decision," Fisher said. "It was something that has to be addressed.
"You can’t make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory in any way toward any person, race, gender," said Fisher, whose top-ranked Seminoles host No. 22 Clemson on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown. "The statements in which you make are always going to be made more public than statements that other individuals make," the coach said. "And that’s just the nature of the business of who you are and what you are. That’s the situation it is and you have to understand that."
Winston’s continued questionable behavior could affect not only his NFL draft stock, but also possibly his status as a student.
He could be removed from school pending the outcome of the investigation into whether he violated the school’s code of conduct policy stemming from the sexual assault accusation. Winston repeatedly indicated there was a strong chance he could return for another year of college football, but this latest incident could change that.
Saturday’s showdown between the top-ranked Seminoles and No. 22 Clemson is a rematch of a game that really put Winston in the national spotlight. Florida State rolled over the Tigers 51-14 last year en route to a national championship. Winston threw for 444 yards, three touchdowns and ran for another score.
"I want to be out on the field with my team, but I did something, so I have to accept the consequences," Winston said Wednesday. "I’m going to apologize to my team. We’re not going to think about that, because we don’t think about negative things. We’re going to think about moving forward and winning the game."
Little-known redshirt sophomore Sean Maguire will make his first college start for the top-ranked Seminoles in Saturday’s nationally televised game against No. 22 Clemson.
"I wouldn’t say it’s a distraction, maybe at the time," Maguire said Thursday about the incident. "Maybe for the first little bit, but once the news came out, practiced happened yesterday.
"It makes me more confident knowing I get to go out there and play quarterback like we do in practice, like we do every day. I’m just looking forward to it, that’s all I can say."
Florida State is trying to repeat as national champions and the winner of the Clemson-Florida State matchup has played in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game the last five years.