Jameis Winston

Analysis of the Jameis Winston Saga

Jameis Winston is the quarterback for Florida State University, the top ranked college football team in America, which will play for the sport’s National Championship after winning their conference title Dec. 7. He was also the focus of an investigation, that alleged he raped a student last winter. After a bizarre series of stops and starts, twists and turns, and embarrassing official missteps, the State Attorney chose not charge Winston in the case. Citing a lack of evidence, spotty cooperation, and “memory lapses” from the accuser, prosecutor announced at a press conference that, “after careful consideration no charges will be filed against anyone in this case.”

The reactions were to be expected. Fans of the football team were relieved in the aftermath, although according to ESPN’s Mark Swarz on “Outside The Lines,” the general atmosphere on campus was measured and not celebratory. Among television and radio personalities, there was the usual lip-service of respecting the process. The most common criticism was the tone of levity at points during the press conference, with some contending it would have a chilling effect, making future victims reluctant to come forward.

Spinning forward, this matter is hardly put to rest. Following are questions, speculations, observations and conclusions based on the official reports and coverage of the entire saga.

UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINE STILL POSSIBLE
The Florida State University Code Of Student Conduct proscribe both “Sexual Miscounduct” “Recording Of Images without consent” and “Harassment.” Under a Preponderance of Evidence standard, which is has always been the standard at FSU for all cases, sexual misconduct is defined, in part, as “any sex act that occurs without consent,” consent being defined as “willing and clear participation in the sex act.” Consent is not freely given absent that which is “clear and verbal,” or is brought about by force, threat of force or coercion.” Lack of consent includes a participant who is “under the influence of alcohol or drugs” or who is “unconscious, sleeping, ill or in shock.” Misconduct can also include any “unwelcome or unwanted gender-based behaviors.” Harassment includes acts that “invade the privacy of another.”

This code could not only implicate Winston, but his teammates, who admitted to having viewed the event, but not taking part. There is also suggestion one may have attempted to record the event, but did not upon protest from the accuser. I made inquiry as to whether there is Code Violation case in progress on this matter, but Emails to Dean Of Students Jeannine Ward-Roof and Victim Advocate Melissa Ashton were not returned, and neither were calls to Florida State Sports Information Director Kerwin Lonzo.

LACK OF ANALYSIS OF THE STATE ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Most glaringly absent in the aftermath was analysis of, well, the actual police and state attorney’s reports. That may due in part to laziness, but also embarrassment. Indeed, a thorough reading illuminates how much of the narrative the sports media and punditry got patently wrong, or how they were misled, and in turn, mislead us.

Credit should first be given to Bleacher Report’s Matt Fitzgerald, who, instead of having a fainting spell over the conduct of a press conference, did what neither ESPN, CBSSports, USA Today nor almost any other major sports news organization did; he actually read, and wrote a summary of, the police and state attorney’s evidence. But hey, why spend time digging into the collateral evidence (you know, that “reporting” thing) when pearl-clutching is so much easier? Especially when even a cursory review reveals what likely did not occur.

From the start, I gave the accuser to benefit of the doubt. Like the Steubenville victim, she immediately went to police, gave her story, submitted a rape kit, and cooperated with police. Or so went the narrative.

Too bad some of it wasn’t true.

As promised, State Attorney Willie Meggs released all police, investigative and lab reports in the case. The first thing they reveal that isn’t kosher is the sequence of reports.

You see, it wasn’t the accuser who first reported the rape to police. It was her friends. . .who weren’t there.

Nonetheless, I do not blame Bria Harvey and Jenna Weisberg for calling the police. Indeed, they should be applauded. If my friend had texted me that 3 random men clubbed her upside the head outside the club, and that her next memory was being on a bathroom floor with a strange man between her legs, I’d call the cops too. Of course, I’d assume that the part of about the caveman act preceding the sexual assault would find itself into her report. It did not.

As for the intervening time period, the accuser’s memory was remarkably clear in at least one account, from men fumbling to pay a cabbie, to being badgered to invite her girlfriends, to walking into the apartment, to having her clothes removed, to suggesting one of the other players told Winston to “stop.”

It’s no wonder, then, that 1) the accuser told her friends not to tell the police or her parents (they of course did not comply) and 2) she refused to cooperate with police after February
Indeed, when ESPN’s Mark Schlabach asked Willie Meggs about whether he believed the accuser to be credible, his pause was as pregnant as the Godzilla in the 1998 movie.

It appears the accuser may have gone Mel Gibson and played the “Pack Of N*g***s” card, which sends chills down my spine as a black man, especially in the wake of the recent posthumous pardon of the Scottsboro boys. That trope undergirded the Central Park Jogger “Wilding”case , and allowed the Parkside rapist to go free and rape more women. Black male threat-narratives have also led to riots which have burned down entire towns, like Tulsa,  and were behind scores of lynchings.

Could she have embellished a true story to make it stick? Or was it a red herring to hide some sense of regret? None of us know, nor likely will we ever.

REACTION TO MEGGS PRESS CONFERENCE DEMEANOR, DET. WARNINGS FURTHER PROOF “RAPE CULTURE” IS A CANARD

I’m watching textile stocks very closely. They’re sure to go up considering what should be assumed to be a spike in cape sales. How else to explain the scores of Caped Crusaders in sports media who swooped down to rescue thousands of faceless women, whether it be from the Evil Prosecutor, laughing like Jack Nicholson’s Joker, or the obstructionist Detective, erecting a “rape culture” firewall in an effort to intimidate the “victim?”

Were there moments during the State Attorney’s press conference that made me squirm? Sure. Was it tone-deaf? Certainly, considering who was watching and the subject matter. But let’s not forget the laughter came mostly from the assembled media, and usually to a dumb question (Q: “Was there a sexual assault” A: “I think that’s why we’re here”). Could it have also been nervous laughter? Keep in mind that even soldiers facing bullets have been known to indulge a bit of gallows humor. Oh, and lest the press forget, the focus should primarily be on what is said.
Nevertheless, sports media tripped over themselves in outrage, implying a 35 minute conference with three moments of brief levity was Robin Williams Weapons Of Self Destruction, many in real-time, such as Dan Wetzel of yahoo! sports

Of course once USA Today’s Christine Brennan set off the dog whistle, it was a Doberman-like feeding frenzy. Over the ensuing 2-3 days, it was universal as man after man after man came down harshly on the state attorney.

Fine. Willie Meggs is big boy, and can answer for himself and to his constituents in Leon County Florida in the next election. But at some point, the hyperventilating should desist, and reporting must begin. Like, say, vetting Meggs’ claim that he prosecutes athletes which, upon examination, proves true in just the last few months in the case of senior receiver Greg Dent.

Emblematic as well of the cognitive dissonance of the “rape culture” narrative in sports is that the same folks sounding the alarm over possible post-decision pilloring of the accuser, were the same who castigated the lead detective for warning her, well, that she may be pilloried for bringing the case. Indeed, rape-crisis zealots use the anonymous, sophomoric insults from feral fanboys to prove too much, conflating naked self-interest with generalized contempt for victims. Gender ideologues and their proxies could give Garfield’s sidekick Odie lessons on how to chase their own tails.

The reality is,  tsunami of invective sustained by the Tallahassee State Attorney parallels the typical reaction of men when they hear that a woman is raped, especially if the know her.

That is to say, they typically go ape-shit.

The annals of the criminal corpus are replete with examples of proxy violence by men against men who were merely alleged by one woman to have transgressed sexually. High profile cases include John White, who shot high schooler Daniel Cicciaro after Cicciaro led a mob to his home, chasing his son to deal out justice over a rape-threat hoax. As we speak, college professor Norma Esparza is being held to answer for the murder of Gonzalo Ramirez. In 1995, she allegedly told someone Ramirez raped her, and he was subsequently found chopped into bite-size bits. Of course, victim’s groups, ever enthralled by the myth of Universal Accusation Veracity, are rallying to her defense.

WILL GENDER IDEOLOGUES AND WHITE KNIGHTS BEHAVE THEMSELVES?

Recent history suggests otherwise. From Dave Zirin calling for the shutdown of Notre Dame’s football program after a young lady’s suicide 10 days after a groping allegation (contrary to the zealots’ claims, it was NOT a rape)  to the post-Duke LaCrosse fallout which ranged from the smirking Schadenfreude of Amanda Marcotte, to the obstinate belligerence of Selena Roberts , shameless demagoguery has been the coin of the realm(although to be fair, ESPN’s Jemele Hill actually issued an apology). A national month of mourning and gender guilt-mongering followed the murder of Kassandra Perkins, three years after no one in sports media, and few in the general media, called the murder of Steve McNair “domestic violence,” some even saying out loud that he deserved it.

Indeed, as events unfolded, ESPN’s Jemele Hill took full advantage of her platform, touting the litany of rape-hysteria talking points on Mike & Mike, from how rare false accusations are (the good folks at www.cotwa.info would beg to differ), to how much it “bothered her” that Winston invoked his 5th Amendment rights to remain silent until a charge was levied.

Predictably, the concessions after the decision not to charge were of the standard, paint-by-numbers variety, if half-hearted: “we must respect the system/Jameis Winston is innocent because the system says he is/he should receive the Heisman trophy,” most prefaced by the standard disclaimer “we don’t know what happened in that night and we never will.” (More on that later). Indeed most were willing to let the matter go, with the appropriate acknowledgement of the ordeals victims go through.

Of course, parting blows were still in order. Colin Cowherd’s December 6th opening rant was a fountain of fallacies, which could not have been better delivered by Mary Koss herself. Reporter Heather Cox lived every victim advocate’s wet dream, delivering five questions about the case just seconds after the Florida State victory to sent them to the National Championship.

Now, as a journalist by practice, let me state that for Cox to not ask one question along the lines of “how did this investigation affect you” would have been malpractice. But then two… then three… four… FIVE? On a night where there were so many game related storylines (namely, “Jameis, why did you throw the ball so erratically in the first half”), it was amateurish and gratuitous.

Emblematic of the uneven response to the matter was the Sunday morning ESPN show The Sports Reporters, paneled by columnists and best-selling authors Mike Lupica and Mitch Albom, and Miami columnist Israel Gutierrez. The tenor of the discussion moved from sanctimonious to  measured and balanced. Although he was clearly struggling with the issues, Lupica found himself unable to lessen his hold on innuendo, adding that “something made this young lady come forward.” (Mike may want to do some research on “regret asymmetry”). Gutierrez was even-handed, reminding the panel that “seedy sexual encounters” are commonplace on all corners at any college, not just among athletes. Though Albom was mostly fair to Winston, he couldn’t help but invoke the moral hazard card, stating that the message to athletes is “don’t put yourself in these situations.” If that sounds familiar, it was called victim-blaming when Serena Williams said something similar (albeit ham-handed) about the Steubenville victim last year, and was lambasted for it. Or is it only victim-blaming to suggest to young women that drinking to excess could make one vulnerable to, well, two meatheads who can’t keep their hands to themselves? How about sending a message to women to stop falsely accusing by, you know, prosecuting such women? Maybe Reginald Daye might be alive, another inconvenient truth sports media does not want to come to grips with.

The fallout from this case isn’t over, as the accuser’s counsel called for an independent Attorney General investigation on December 13, although there are doubts as to whether such an investigation will happen since evidence of wrongdoing by the original investigators is pretty thin so far. Make no mistake, though, for “rape crisis’ advocates, every stage of a high-profile case is not a search for truth, but an ideological battle station. Every press conference, every criminal/civil/school proceeding, every broadcast, every release of information–likely, even Jameis winning the Heisman this weekend (winning despite having been dropped from about 13% of Heisman ballots because of the allegations) will be used as a way to leverage their industry to higher visibility. If and when they are on the side of truth, they will deserve support. Where they shamelessly advance their destructive narrative, on the other hand, they must be resisted.

We’ll be watching.

 

Editor’s note: image of Jameis Winston from Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution license.

About Ty Henry

An original, pre-internet combatant in the campus rhetorical wars against victim feminism as a student columnist on the campus that is an original hub of the Sexual Hysteria Industrial Complex, The University Of Arizona. I'm back in the game, for keeps, to use my platform and inside knowledge from studying these issues since I was a 18yo college freshman in 1990, and having been on the ass-end of false accusations culture. My blog focuses on athletics and how the gender issues intersect with them.

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  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    You know, if it’s so fair for the sports media to somberly talk about how guilty he must be, is it OK to publish analyses of why his accuser might be guilty of something? The double standards are headspinning:

    http://www.tmz.com/2013/12/05/jameis-winston-friends-oral-sex-more-than-willing/#ixzz2nYve60kv

    • OneHundredPercentCotton

      but…but…this is why my own father supported Rape Shield laws back in the ’70′s. Just as I know from first hand experience women lie about rape and support each other in rape lies, he knew men who did that as well.

      ANYbody’s “friends” can say ANY thing.

      Truly, in all fairness – POLYGRAPH BOTH PARTIES INVOLVED. Polygraph their friends, witnesses or whoever else gets involved. Let the chips fall where they may and work it out from there.

      I don’t even doubt this may be true, and if the “rape” happened in his apartment even more so, but…this.

      THIS is how Rape Shield laws came into being in the first place – HE said this, SHE said that, HIS friends said this, HER friends said that…

      We’ve been down both pathways to hell and predictably it turns out, EVERY human being is capable of lying. Not just men, and not just women.

      Time to regroup and find a better way. No one wants to see a criminal get away with ruining another person’s life and reputation.

      • sybil

        Polygraphs are not accurate. All they show is physiological arousal. They’re good for eliciting confessions, but we know false confessions are common.

        • OneHundredPercentCotton

          You know – we will NEVER know how accurate or inaccurate polygraphs are until they are used in this way.

          Men are commonly forced to take a polygraph when accused of rape. Accusers have recanted accusations in very high numbers when asked to take a polygraph.

          What are the odds an innocent man will fail while a lying liar passes?
          What happens if BOTH fail or BOTH pass?

          Either way, trust me, my son has been through polygraph hell, I KNOW all about the accuracy of polygraphs, but they are at least as accurate as friends bolsters one’s claims or another, they are at least as accurate as wrongful identifications or forced confessions.

          Something’s got to change.

    • DragonFire

      Don’t tell athletes not to get into that situation, tell women not to make false allegations?

      Or how about ‘Only women can stop false allegations’?

      For someone to suggest that athletes should avoid situations like that is, according to feminists, victim blaming, just as the article says.

      Where is Big Red, to champion this issue for men?
      Didn’t she say feminism was working on our issues?

  • http://blog.StudioBrule.com Steve Brulé

    “If and when they are on the side of truth, they will deserve support.”

    No. They do not deserve support for accidentally falling on the side of truth from time to time. They are always biased, even when accidentally correct. Their ever-present prejudice deserves ever-present condemnation.

    • Mr. Sungame

      Yeah, there is that saying about broken clocks ;)

  • http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/ Pierce Harlan

    Excellent, Ty. The hypocrisy on display is stark:

    They say they “believe the victim” even though neither they nor any of us knows anything at all about “the victim” aside from the fact she accused a young man with whom she had a sexual encounter of rape.

    They complain that yet another athlete got away with something that looks like rape. Their evidence for this belief is that (1) there are many OTHER rapes — THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CASE; and (2) women don’t lie about rape, even thought they do.

    They complain that the accuser was “slut-shamed” because the state attorney mentioned that she had recent sex with her boyfriend before her encounter with Winston. They fail to mention is that the accuser’s possible fear of being “slut-shamed” is a reason she might have lied about being raped.

    They complain that the Tallahassee detective told the accuser’s attorney that her client’s life “will be made miserable” if she pressed charges against Winston. These same people are now complaining that the accuser’s life was made miserable because she pressed charges against Winston.

    They complain that authorities delayed in collecting Winston’s DNA. They ignore the fact that DNA has no role in alleged acquaintance rape cases — they’re likely just pissed that authorities didn’t publicly name Winston as a rape suspect right away.

    They cluck their thick tongues and ambush Winston by asking why he didn’t speak to the authorities during the investigation, ignoring little things like the Fifth Amendment. To our knowledge, none of them ever asked the accuser directly why the police claim she stopped cooperating with the police last February.

    They complain that there was some giggling in the state attorney’s press conference that no sane and rational person could interpret as ridiculing the alleged victim. These same people don’t have any problem that pundits on major websites openly suggest that Jameis Winston is probably a rapist.

    They complained that, when Winston’s FSU played the University of Florida Gators, some Gators fans wore T-shirts emblazoned with the following: “The Rapers: Forced Sex University.” They said the shirts somehow manifested “victim blaming,” and the editors of the Univ. of Florida student newspaper apologized to THE ACCUSER (they called her the “victim”) and her family. Note, the editors had no problem that their peers treated a presumptively innocent man as a rapist.

    And I could go on and on and on. The bottom line is that it’s somehow fair game for the national press to turn a 19-year-old black male into their own personal piñata for no reason other than the fact he was accused of rape and it’s the politically correct thing to do. Anyone daring to defend the process that cleared Jameis Winston MUST be okay with rape, don’t you know. Due process, justice, fairness and decency be damned.

  • Michael Conzachi

    Ty,

    Thank you for this concessive report that contains facts and demonstrates something that we already know all too well, the lack of objectivity among many in the mainstream news media, the agenda driven hysteria and the usual calls for accountability of the accused at all costs, despite the lack of clear cut evidence that a crime ever occurred. Fact checking,,,,, gee what a novel concept…..

  • Billybobownway

    Men need to learn that just because a woman sucks on your penis does not mean she is consenting to intercourse. ?????
    Football player rape has taken on a life of its own. The Amazing Atheist made a vid where he stated that all football players are rapists.
    When I went to my high school re-union the hottest, most unattainable girl was there, somewhat past her prime. She went around bragging, mostly to the women, that she had fucked the entire football team for a number of years running. Her proudest achievement. Names and details, what a cow. I suppose if her father had found out it would be rape.
    Beyond the injustice, the take-away is that fucking willing, crazy girls is better avoided.

  • crydiego

    I have to disagree with everyone so far. This is a clear cut case of rape and she should be in jail. He had been drinking, she followed him into his bedroom, forced down his clothes and threatened him with a dangerous bite; that is rape!

  • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

    Wht’s with the chilling effect fairytale? (“a chilling effect, making future victims reluctant to come forward.)” Yet the victim of the crime did come forward — He had a press conference.

    Victims of false rape accusations need to keep stepping forward and demanding prosecution of the perpetrators of this serious crime.

    The conformist media presstitutes need to stop blaming the victim and focus more on the attempted kidnapping and false imprisonment schemes cooked up my the false accusers, whose crimes are attempts to harm victims in egregious ways, (years or decades in jail for crime that never even occurred).

    Boycotting the presstitutes’ media outlets is a first step.

    Maybe I have a bad case of rational thinking disorder (I am a male afterall, so am vulnerable to the condition) but I would like to see actual grown-up educated people hired to fill journalism jobs so that the public can be let on on two big secrets about the meaning of the word “victim.”

    1) A person not raped is not a rape “victim.”

    2) A person falsely accused of a crime (rape, or any other crime), and/or has false testimony or evidence provided against him/her, is indeed a victim.