Florida State Seminoles quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was given a citation for not paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish in a Tallahassee supermarket on April 29.
Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston was issued a citation on April 29 for not paying for $32.72 worth of food in a Tallahassee supermarket.
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According to Sean Rossman of The Tallahassee Democrat, Winston simply forgot to pay for his purchase. Winston, who is also a pitcher and outfielder for FSU's baseball team, was also suspended by baseball coach Mike Martin:
"FSU star quarterback Jameis Winston was issued a civil citation Tuesday night of leaving the Publix on Ocala Road with $32.72 worth of food he didn't pay for.
"The Leon County Sheriff's Office said Winston was not arrested and will not face petty theft charges if he completes the terms of a civil pre-trial diversion program. FSU baseball coach Mike Martin announced Winston has been suspended from the team.
"'This is not a criminal arrest. This is a civil citation program,' said LCO Maj. Mike Wood during a Tuesday news conference.
"An investigation determined Winston left the store about 9 p.m. with crab legs and crawfish he picked up from the deli counter. When deputies went to Winston's apartment, the FSU redshirt sophomore said he forgot to pay.
"Publix officials said Winston agreed to the civil-citation procedure that will require Winston to complete 20 hours of community service, among other things.
"Video surveillance shows the Heisman winner order the seafood then wander the aisles before leaving. An employee witnessed Winston leave, but thought he was going out to grab a shopping cart, so no one, including a sheriff's deputy on staff, approached him.
"After employees realized he left for good, deputies were called about 10 p.m.
"A 'very cooperative' Winston told deputies during questioning at his residence late Tuesday that he simply forgot to pay for the items."
With this, Martin issued a statement regarding Winston's suspension from the baseball team, per WTXL's Dave Griffiths.
It reads,"As a result of his citation last night, we are suspending Jameis Winston from the baseball team. I am confident that he will complete his community service obligation and the situation will be resolved soon."
Griffiths notes,"FSU's Athletic Department of Code of Conduct/Discipline Policy states a student-athlete with a civil citation is eligible to practice and compete. The decision as to whether they are allowed to practice and/or compete rests with the head coach."
Seminoles head football coach Jimbo Fisher told Griffiths,"I fully support Coach Martin's decision and will also make sure that Jameis meets all obligations, which I know he will."
For his part, Winston issued a written statement, per ESPN.
"As reported in the news, last night I received an adult citation for petit theft from a local supermarket. I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I'm taking full responsibility.
"In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.
"I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach. Over the last year I've learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends and family.
"At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day.
"I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.
"I am grateful to be able to participate in the adult citation program where I will complete community service."
A WCTV report courtesy of Julie Montanaro includes the sentiments of Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen.
"That was stupid, no doubt about it. He had the money and resources to pay for it.
"Some people are going to get laughter out of it, but maybe this is good, because maybe this will send a message to people like Jameis -- if you do something in the public spotlight, and bring embarrassment to yourself, it's going to be exaggerated to the point where you really don't want this to happen."
This is not the first time Winston's name has been linked to a controversial off-field issue.
Potential sexual assault charges against Winston were dropped last December after State Attorney Willie Meggs said there was insufficient evidence to charge the Seminoles quarterback, the ESPN report goes on to say.
Winston's name was also linked to 13 damaged apartment complex windows in Nov. 2012. The windows were allegedly damaged by BB guns which were used by Florida State players although Winston and his roommate denied any involvement.
No charges were filed against Winston in the incident, per ESPN.
Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, guided Florida State to the BCS National Title with a 34-31 win over the Auburn Tigers.
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