The typical life of an up and coming NFL star is one that many people envy. Teams shell out multi-million dollar contracts to these young men in hopes of future success for the franchise. The players, who are typically no older than 22 years, are highly coveted and touted by experts and analysts as being the future stars of the sport.
However, with great exposure comes great expectations. In other words, these athletes are expected to demonstrate a certain level of decorum and adherence to the law. Recent scandals, such as the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson domestic disputes, have tainted the NFL’s reputation. And yet, the scrutiny by the general public has not been staunched. Players entering the NFL draft are not only critiqued for their abilities on the field, but off of it as well. A player’s demeanor and conduct, therefore, have become a greater focus for teams looking to find their leaders of the future.
Jameis Winston, the former Heisman trophy winner from Florida State University, has been one of the more polarizing football players to enter the NFL draft. His skills have been lauded by many experts of the sport. Some have even predicted him going first in the upcoming draft, based on his projection as a possible all-star caliber quarterback. However, there is a significant caveat to Winston’s incredible skill set: he has a multitude of black marks on his record.
Although some of his issues have been minor, one has made headlines for years. In December of 2012, Winston was accused of raping a fellow student at Florida State’s Tallahassee campus. According to the victim, Erica Kinsman, she was having drinks at a local bar with her friends and Winston got her a shot of an unknown liquid. The next thing she knew, she was being sexually assaulted by the Heisman winner.
Prosecutors in Tallahassee, Florida decided not to move forward with charges against Winston after he came forward in a hearing at the University. At the time, Kinsman did not want to pursue criminal charges and was not in contact with prosecutors. The charges were then dropped.
On April 16, 2015, just two weeks before the NFL draft, however, Kinsman and her attorney, John Clune, have filed a $16,000 sexual assault lawsuit against Winston. Winston and his attorneys have yet to comment publicly on the rape allegations.