It’s not official, but now that one of the top insiders in pro football media is reporting it, the Bucs and Jameis Winston have to know that he is in fact going to get a three game suspension.
This, as Thursday afternoon, Adam Schefter broke the story for ESPN:
NFL is planning to suspend Buccaneers’ QB Jameis Winston the first three games of the season for violating the personal conduct policy, league sources tell ESPN.
ESPN’s Tallahassee host Jeff Cameron initially reported Winston was bracing to be suspended – and he will be.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 21, 2018
As Schefter’s tweet indicates, Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron had reported on his Wednesday afternoon show that “Winston’s camp” was preparing for a suspension of up to three games.
Schefter went on to report that Winston may be officially notified as soon as Friday, when the NFL typically notifies players of suspension. However, he has a source that says that the notification could come next week.
There are now multiple reports that Winston is not being suspended for “failure to report” the March 2016 allegations of inappropriate touching by a female Uber driver in Arizona.
Rather, the NFL is apparently prepared to spell out that they believe he is guilty, in part or in whole, of what was alleged.
We wrote on Sunday that it was eight months to the day since the allegation from 2016 was made public. And, that NFL owed to everyone involved, especially the Bucs organization, to let them know what they believed did or didn’t happen.
Our Roy Cummings wrote last November about the allegation being made public by the accuser to Buzzfeed news online:
The Uber driver, described as “Kate,’’ told Buzzfeed she picked up Winston in Scottsdale, Arizona around 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13 2016 when two other men placed Winston in the front passenger seat of her car.
Kate, who asked not to be identified out of fear of negatitve retribution, told Buzzfeed Winston began behaving badly as soon as he entered the car.
She said he shouted homophobic slurs at pedestrians and then asked to stop for food, before he “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch,” further alleging that Winston held his hand there for several seconds.
“I wasn’t just creeped out,” Kate told Buzzfeed. “I was frozen. I mean, he’s an NFL quarterback and I’m 5-foot-6. I’m not prepared for that. So I completely froze.
Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, issued a statement denying the allegations, telling Buzzfeed, “We categorically deny this allegation. It is our understanding the Uber driver was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his Uber account was used to call the ride.’’
Kate told Buzzfeed she was not seeking money as a result of her revelation but simply wanted the truth known about “a powerful man who felt entitled to my body when all I wanted to do was my job.
“I have been empowered by my sisters, who have forged this path by speaking up, and I must do my part to make it a little more well traveled,” Kate told BuzzFeed News.
“If I’m silent, I fear that further harm will come to other women, if it hasn’t already. He sexually assaulted me, and I have every right to tell the damn truth about it.’’
Winston had previously been accused of sexual assault at Florida State by fellow student Erica Kinsman in December of 2012. That was the season before he became a successful nationally known quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Noles to the National Title in 2013.
Winston denied sexual assault and claimed that the two had consensual sex. The Leon County State Attorney decline to prosecute the case.
Kinsman later sued Florida State and Winston separately and reached a settlement with each.
It’s not known if Winston will appeal and attempt to have the alleged three game suspension reduced. As it stands now, he would miss the Bucs opening game at the Saints, and then home games with the Eagles and the Steelers.
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