Idaho-Florida St. Preview
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)
While the sexual assault investigation of quarterback Jameis Winston remains a cloud over the program, the second-ranked Seminoles (10-0) are only talking football.
University officials reminded reporters that coach Jimbo Fisher would only respond to football-related questions during his weekly press conference.
"You always address everything," Fisher said. "Kids know what's going on no matter what the situations are. That's an important part of being a good team is being able to focus and control things that you can control. And deal with the other issues when it's time to deal with them.
"I think that's part of maturity. As coaches, as people in general, everybody has that issue in life. Those are very hard things to do."
There haven't been any noticeable changes around the program and Fisher indicated it's business as usual. Winston is expected to start against Idaho (1-9) barring a development in the case.
He was his usual gregarious self during and after last weekend's 59-3 victory over Syracuse, completing 19 of 21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Following its first-ever matchup against the Vandals, Florida State visits Florida on Nov. 30 before the ACC title game Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.
"Jameis has done a very nice job all season of not being a redshirt freshman as far as his mental approach to playing," Fisher said.
Everything could change at a moment's notice, however. The outcome of the investigation could come after the ACC championship game - exactly one year from the date of the original report. The uncertainty of Winston's status could also affect the decision-making of Heisman Trophy voters with ballots due after that weekend.
Voters could also drop Florida State out of the top two in the polls and the BCS standings if Winston is eventually suspended.
Winston, 19, is at the center of a sexual assault investigation in which the victim reported the incident from a campus dorm Dec. 7, 2012. University police fielded the original call and passed it along to the Tallahassee Police Department once it was determined the incident took place off-campus.
Winston's lawyer, Tim Jansen, last week said he had given officials two affidavits from eye witnesses that "completely exonerate my client." He believed the investigation was closed months ago.
Jansen released a statement Sunday expressing concerns that State Attorney Willie Meggs has made "extrajudicial statements" about the investigation during media interviews. Jansen accused Meggs of addressing a confidential law enforcement investigation and inferring that witnesses have been affected by "attorneys and collusion."
Meggs told the Associated Press Sunday evening, "I'm not going to respond to him." The prosecutor also said he would request to speak with Winston, but, "We can't make people talk to us. ... We can't make suspects talk."
The investigation became public last week after several media outlets filed information requests with the Tallahassee police. The department passed the case to Meggs' office for the first time last week.
Florida State released a statement last Wednesday saying the university was aware of an investigation and noted that "there is no change in Jameis Winston's status."
Winston has helped Florida State post back-to-back 59-3 wins, and the Seminoles have scored at least 41 points in each game this season. He's completed 70.9 percent of his passes for 2,938 yards with 28 TDs and seven INTs.
Idaho has allowed exactly 59 points in two of its last three games, falling 59-38 to Old Dominion in its last contest Nov. 9. The Vandals allow 45.7 points per game and the Seminoles average 52.7.
Florida State is the third of the six unbeaten teams remaining in the FBS that Idaho will face this season. The Vandals have lost to 11-0 Northern Illinois and 9-0 Fresno State by a combined 106-49.