Back in 2012, then red-shirt Florida State QB Jameis Winston was accused of sexual assault by a woman on campus. When the Florida State Seminoles went undefeated in 2013 to win the final BCS National Championship the sexual assault allegations against Jameis Winston became biggest story in all of sports, with ESPN and the NYT even sending reporters to live and work around the clock in Tallahassee (side note: FSU also won the first BCS National Championship, providing the bookends on the BCS era).
In December of 2014, just days before the Seminoles would appear in the first College Football Playoff and get absolutely embarrassed by the Oregon Ducks a Florida Supreme Court judge ruled there was insufficient evidence that Jameis Winston had broken the Florida State University student code of conduct. After that ruling, Jameis’ standing as a student at the university was no longer in question but that didn’t close the door on civil litigation from his accuser, Erica Kinsman. This came after endless reports from the NYTimes and ESPN about how the Campus PD and Tallahassee PD mishandled this case from the start, reports that continued to fuel the endless media frenzy surrounding the sexual assault allegations.
Well, Jameis has since moved on from FSU and now takes snaps for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team he’s pulled into playoff contention after just two seasons on the roster. He’s also settled Erica Kinsman’s civil case against him for an undisclosed amount of money.
Back in January, Florida State University settled its own Title IX case with Kinsman, paying her a reported $950,000, and with Jameis Winston settling yesterday for undisclosed terms it appears as if we (the public) well never get clarity on what took place back in 2012.
I guess it’s important to note that a settlement is not an admission of guilt, though sometimes it can be, but a settlement can also take place when a legal battle has been stretched out for so long it becomes financially advantageous to settle instead of continuing to pay lawyers for years to come. In the case of Erica Kinsman, her lawyer is a relative of hers and they made it clear from day 1 that they were willing to see their case through to the end. Personally, I wish this case would’ve gone to court so there would’ve been a sense of finality and not a settlement up for interpretation, but I’m sure all parties involved are overjoyed to put this all behind them.