TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was welcomed back to his starting position Monday by Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, who said he didn’t believe the quarterback’s leadership role with the top-ranked Seminoles has suffered because of the notoriety that has followed Winston.
Winston stood by on the Seminole sidelines Saturday night as fellow redshirt sophomore Sean Maguire threw for 305 yards and one touchdown to help Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC) eke out a 23-17 overtime win over a mistake-riddled Clemson team that had outplayed the Seminoles for much of the game. The Seminoles seek their 20th straight win Saturday at unbeaten North Carolina State (4-0).
Fisher said he hopes that last week’s one-game suspension is a wakeup call for Winston.
“I think it really hit home, no doubt,” Fisher said Monday.
Winston has been involved in a series of off-field incidents in recent months, including last week’s suspension for making “offensive and vulgar” comments about female anatomy on campus.
“When he does spontaneous things he has to make better judgments,” Fisher said. “Jameis is not a bad individual. He makes poor decisions. He’s got to stop that.”
While playing for the Florida State baseball team, he was suspended for three games and completed 20 hours of community service after acknowledging he stole $32 worth of crab legs from a grocery store in April. Before the football season, he said he had matured.
EX-PLAYER SUES SCHOOL, KIFFIN: Former Southern California cornerback Brian Baucham is suing the school and former coach Lane Kiffin, alleging he was forced to play while ill.
Baucham claims he suffered cardiopulmonary damage and brain injury when he played against California on Sept. 22, 2012, two months after suffering a concussion.
Baucham’s lawsuit claims he was ill before the game but was forced to play by Kiffin. Baucham collapsed on the field during the second half and was taken to a hospital by ambulance, spending several days on a ventilator. He didn’t play for the Trojans again.
USC athletic director Pat Haden issued a statement Monday night.
“It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment on this lawsuit, and due to privacy laws we cannot comment on the specifics of this case,” Haden said. “I will say that I am confident that we provide excellent medical treatment to our student athletes and that their health is always our primary concern ahead of any athletic competition.”