The NFL taking a big risk with Jameis Winston

Amazing the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are taking such a risk in drafting Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the no. 1 overall pick. Charges against Winston were never filed after he was accused of raping a Florida State student, not once, but twice.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

It was among three alleged incidents against Winston during his time at the university. Florida state district attorney Willie Meggs complained vehemently about how the school, campus police and the Tallahassee police handled the rape allegation case. Tallahassee police sat on the case for nearly a year before interviewing key witnesses, including the alleged victim.

The university also exonerated Winston from violating the school’s code of conduct, which could have led to expulsion. According to Fox news and other outlets, Florida State did not immediately turn over information about the incident to the district attorney and that could mean the school is in violation of Title IX protections, which call for immediate action in a rape allegation.

The Feds are in their 55th week of investigating Florida State for possible Title IX violations. They are also investigating the Tallahassee police department for possible negligence in the case. What happens if Florida State is found in violation? Or the police department is charged with negligence? What happens if Winston’s accuser wins a civil suit against him?

Here is a league already functioning under the shadow of ignoring domestic abuse and sexual assault with a possible abuser as their first overall pick. It is hard to believe.

Nearly all media outlets, principally the NFL network and ESPN, are conveniently forgetting the legal storm that is surrounding Winston. When drafted, ESPN commentators chiefly talked about his football attributes instead of what’s happening off the field with Winston. The only mention was the supposedly exhaustive investigations that have been done on Winston before he was drafted.

Presumably, the Buccaneers interviewed 75 people about Winston, however, they never talked to the alleged victim. Amazing.

The NFL, as everyone saw with in the Ray Rice case, has a poor history investigating abuse of women. Yet no one seems to mention that when saying that Winston was the most vetted prospect ever.

Meggs seem frustrated that he couldn’t file charges against Winston. He concluded that whatever happened that night when Winston was accused, it was “not good.”

Now Jameis Winston is the face of the NFL’s 2015 draft.

Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is in his 27th season covering the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers and Bay Area sports. He also is a guest radio host and pregame 49ers host on KNBR-AM San Francisco - the flagship station for the 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Stanford football and basketball. Working mainly for sfgate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle's web site, Lynch is expanding into sports' biggest questions and hottest debates such as - LBGTQ acceptance, athlete criminality, the ethics of performance-enhancing drugs, marijuana, locker room culture, sports and gender, sports and sex, sports and money, sports and race, sports and social change and many other issues. He has written editorials on LBGTQ resistance in sports for the Chronicle and has appeared on KQED radio, Comcast Sports Bay Area and ESPN's Outside the Lines to talk about a variety of sports topics. He completed a Master's in Sociology at San Jose State in 2015, which included a thesis on LBGtT Resistant Attitudes and Behaviors in Sports.

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