Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's Lament

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Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's Lament Empty Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's Lament

Post by Earl on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:34 pm

Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's Lament

Adam Weinstein

We love the game. We love the players, too, even when they scare us.

Like the blue-chip defensive secondary leader who wrote his personal essay for an openly gay professor on the time in high school he gleefully commanded a posse to bash a girly fag near to death, caved the queer's face, and ruined his smile.

Or the hulking offensive star who brought a friend to help him corner a short, pretty instructor alone in her closet office and scare her within an inch of her life for telling the athletic department he was clowning in class.

Or the top offensive player who sought tutoring from me on a plagiarized paper while tweaking on uppers. Or the standout lineman who never showed for my lectures or turned much in except for a term paper written in someone else's voice, then magically disappeared from the class roll when I resisted the team handlers who pressed me not to fail him.

These guys are all starters at Florida State University. They're probably going to play for the national title; they're almost certainly going to go high in the NFL draft. None of them is older than 22, and they already have longer Wikipedia entries than anyone on the FSU faculty.


Before Jameis, there was the gay-basher. His teacher, Robert, was also one of Florida State's superstars, a professor in training with a pile of prestigious awards and grants. He is also gay, a fact that "any of my students are gonna figure out pretty quickly," he says. The defensive back took his required writing class a few summers back, and they met early in the course for a one-on-one conference to discuss an assigned essay exploring a significant personal moment in the students' lives.

"It was just me and him in my windowless office on the fourth floor of an empty campus building," Robert says. The player submitted his essay and went down the hall for a drink, while Robert read it and promptly "freaked out."

The paper was "a very graphic, very detailed, very proud telling of how he basically got his high school classmates together to beat the shit out of this 'fag'"—a word used often in the work—"and literally kick him in the teeth to teach him a lesson." They were sick of their mark "acting like a girl," Robert recalls, and so they went about punching him in the face, emptying his gumline. The tone of the player's essay was that "he was very proud of himself. He had taken the initiative to organize this beating."

Robert panicked. The essay's victim "talked sexually, had tight clothes, and had feminine features—some of which could be certainly be said of me," he says. "Why would he give that to me? I took it in the moment as a personal threat."

When the player returned, Robert faked getting an important text and begged out of the conference, then ran down to a mentor's office to report the paper. The situation was handled well, he said: He never had to see that student again. Still, he had no clue as to the player's motives—or his rehabilitation. "Who knows if he learned anything?" Robert says. "It would be nice if a coach or someone from the Athletic Academic Advising Program said something to him."


"You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.  You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!" -- Dale Hansen, Dallas sports anchor for ABC local affiliate WFAA

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