Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Prosecutor to Disclose Findings on Winston; Briefing Is Scheduled Hours before FSU Team Flies out for Title Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Prosecutor to Disclose Findings on Winston; Briefing Is Scheduled Hours before FSU Team Flies out for Title Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

The top-ranked and undefeated Florida State football team is due to board a plane at Tallahassee Regional Airport at 7:45 p.m. Thursday to fly to Charlotte, N.C., for Saturday's ACC championship game against Duke.

Several hours before, the Seminoles will know whether Jameis Winston, their star quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate, will be on the flight with them.

State attorney Willie Meggs announced that he will hold a news conference in his Tallahassee office at 2 p.m. Thursday to announce the findings of his investigation into whether Winston sexually assaulted an FSU student at off-campus housing on Dec. 7, 2012.

Florida State policy is that athletes are suspended if they face felony charges until the issue is resolved in court. There is an out for the university: if it determines there are "extraordinary circumstances," it can make the decision to eventually let Winston play, a decision that would no doubt result in even more controversy.

Winston, a redshirt freshman from Bessemer, Ala., has led the Seminoles to a 12-0 record and a possible berth in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif. He leads the ACC in passing yards and touchdown passes, and leads the nation in passing efficiency, an index that measures a quarterback's overall production.

Just this week, Winston was named the ACC's player of the year, offensive player of the year and rookie of the year. He was the first freshman to be named ACC player of the year in the 61-year history of the conference and is the leading candidate for college football's top award, the Heisman Trophy.

Voters have until Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. to turn in their ballots. There is a morals clause in the Heisman voting guidelines.

Winston's attorney, Timothy Jansen, told the Tallahassee Democrat that he will hold a news conference with his client after Meggs' announcement, likely at FSU's University Center. Jansen said he does not know what Meggs will announce.

"Our goal is to address the media ... we will not go into great detail," Jansen said in a video posted on the Democrat's website.

During the entire process, Florida State officials have declined comment. …

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