Florida State University

Commentary | Is Jameis Winston the victim? Jimbo Fisher says so

Jameis Winston did not get paid for signing autographs.

How do we know?

Because Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher said so.

Jameis Winston did not sexually assault someone. There is no victim because there is no crime.

How do we know?

Jimbo Fisher said so.

FSU did not cover up the Jameis Winston sexual assault case and did everything properly.

How do we know?

Jimbo Fisher said so.

National media outlets have printed half-truths not based on facts regarding FSU.

How do we know?

Jimbo Fisher said so.

Why does Jimbo Fisher say this?

Because he is arguably the most powerful person at FSU, similar to Nick Saban at Alabama.

Remember Saban? There is a statue of him on the Alabama campus.

Someday Fisher might have one at FSU. Limiting Winston to just a one-game suspension despite all his transgressions is nothing short of miraculous.

But has Fisher ever heard of Roger Goodell or Ray Rice?

Goodell once thought he was immune to criticism and gave Rice a slap on the wrist for punching out his then-fiancée.

A Florida freshman coed complained last week she was sexually assaulted by Gators quarterback Treon Harris.

After his attorney engaged in a no-holds-barred character assassination against her, she dropped the complaint.

The lawyer said whatever happened, the accuser is to blame.

Treon Harris told the truth.

How do we know?

Florida head football coach Will Muschamp said so.

But even Fisher, the de facto president of FSU, might not be able to save Winston.

Signing autographs is not a crime. It is prohibited by the NCAA because the organization says it ruins the morality of its athletes. (Translation: It takes money away from coaches.)

Here is the irony.

If Winston is ruled ineligible because of signing autographs for money, it would be like O.J. Simpson going to jail because of his memorabilia fiasco or Al Capone incarcerated for income tax evasion.

Capone ran the most powerful crime syndicate during the Prohibition era.

Winston is in control of one of the most powerful college football teams in the country.

There is a Title IX investigation into his sexual assault case by the federal government.

FSU also is investigating more than 900 Winston autographs that were authenticated by the same company that has been linked to running back Todd Gurley, the Georgia running back suspended by his school for allegedly receiving money for the signings.

Last April, the New York Times published a story that the investigation of the Winston rape allegation was mishandled and deeply flawed. It recently published another story that alleged FSU football players have had arrests avoided and investigations stalled.

"I think that's exactly the opposite," Fisher said.

Winston is supposed to meet with FSU officials in a few days to set up a hearing that would then determine whether he violated the student code of conduct.

His lawyer, David Cornwell, is criticizing school officials for caving into media pressure and trying to protect FSU's interests.

Why is he complaining?

Jimbo Fisher said there is no victim because there is no crime.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.