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Miami Hurricanes

Defense rests in Kellen Winslow sexual assault trial

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The defense has rested Monday afternoon in the sexual assault trial of former Miami Hurricanes All-American and NFL star Kellen Winslow II in San Diego, CA.

Lawyers for the 35 year old son of the Hall of Famer with the same name, called only five witnesses on his behalf Monday and most importantly, Winslow did not take the stand to rebut the allegations made by numerous accusers:

Prosecutors have charged Winslow with 12 criminal counts in a combined trial that has five alleged victims. Three of the accusers say that Winslow raped them, including one who says that she was 17 years old at the time in 2003. Winslow was also charged with other crimes including indecent exposure and lewd conduct involving two other women.

All three of the alleged sexual assault victims, including two homeless women in their 50s, faced Winslow in court and testified to his alleged actions. Observers said that the most compelling of the accusers was the now, 33 year old woman, “Jane Doe #3”, who was a 17 year old teenager in 2003.

She admitted that she had had consensual sex earlier that summer with Winslow, who at the time was a 19 year year old junior at the University of Miami, and was back home for the summer in San Diego. However, that Jane Doe says that Winslow forcibly raped her weeks later at a friend’s home with others in the house at the time.

The prosecution rested its case on Thursday afternoon and court was not in session on Friday. It had been expected that Winslow’s team of lawyers would put on a somewhat more lengthy defense, than what they eventually chose to do on Monday. The prosecution had no rebuttal witnesses Monday.

Winslow played for the Hurricanes from 2001 through 2003. He earned All-American honors and the John Mackey Award for the nation’s top tight end in his final season. He was the sixth overall pick of the Browns in the 2004 draft, where he reunited with the coach that recruited him and coached him originally at Miami, Butch Davis.

After his rookie season Winslow suffered a horrific knee and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident in a Cleveland suburb mall parking lot. He was unable to play in the 2005 season, because of the injuries.

Winslow played three more seasons for the Browns before being traded in the 2009 offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a second and fifth round picks, the Bucs acquired Winslow and gave him, at that time, the largest contract for a tight end in NFL history with $36 million over six seasons.

In his first season in Tampa Bay he set the Bucs single season tight end receiving record with 77 catches and 884 yards. He led the team in receptions again in 2010, as the Bucs finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. In his final Buccaneers season of 2011 Winslow finished with 75 receptions in a dismal 4-12 year.

Winslow was traded in the offseason of 2012 to the Seattle Seahawks, but they released him months later, when he refused to reduce his salary.

He bounced after that to the New England Patriots and the New York Jets with his final season being 2013. With the Jets, he only started three games, and was also suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the League’s substance-abuse policy.

Back to Monday. Judge Blaine Bowman told the jury that there would be closing arguments Tuesday morning, and then they would receive the case, thereafter.

Winslow is facing life in prison on the number of charges against him.

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Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes QB Martell situation like “Mad Men” episode

Matt Zemek

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

“Don Draper” has some advice about Tate Martell

There is no denying the following point: Purely as a matter of analysis, Tate Martell endured a spectacular fall the past few days at the University of Miami.

A man transferred from Ohio State to get more playing time as a starter, but Jarren Williams will be the Miami Hurricanes’ starting quarterback when Manny Diaz leads The U against the Florida Gators on August 24.

Martell was beaten out by a freshman — a really good freshman, but a freshman nevertheless.

This comes after Martell talked a very big game and didn’t play nice with Justin Fields, who transferred into Ohio State from Georgia in his own attempt to get more playing time as a starting quarterback.

There is no denying the point that this is a dramatic story. It is a story of upheaval, surprise, and crushing disappointment for a young athlete who was arrogant, who has acted like a prima donna, and whose mental state right now is not easy to pin down:

It is dramatic. It is spectacular. It is soap-operatic and emotionally involving.

Are you roused? Excited? Gleeful at Martell’s demise?

There is — on a very small level — a “happy” dimension to this story. Manipulative and selfish behavior was not rewarded. I get it. Everyone can see and understand that point.

Martell has an inflated view of himself, doesn’t seem to be a team player, and simply hasn’t worked hard enough or well enough (if not both) to earn a starting QB job at either OSU or Miami. There’s a reason Urban Meyer limited him to running-QB duties for the most part, a Big Ten version of the “Belldozer” Oklahoma used with Blake Bell in red-zone situations several years ago, while Landry Jones was the “normal” quarterback for the Sooners.

If you want to be happy that Tate Martell couldn’t bully his way into getting the Miami job, and that he got his comeuppance, fine. That’s okay, as far as it goes. However, that national sense of schadenfreude — especially from the state of Ohio, but from various corners of the country — was certainly over the top on Monday.

Let’s be clear: No one was defending Martell’s behavior on Monday or at previous points in this process. His behavior was clearly poor. He certainly has to look in the mirror — not to anyone else — if he wants to improve his football career. No one would dispute that Martell has to straighten up and fly right, and that he needs to take ownership of his attitude and adjust it.

Yet, Martell’s name became a worldwide trending topic. That schadenfreude obviously flowed deep into the bones and marrow of many college football fans and observers. A lot of #CollegeFootballTwitter seemed to be laughing at Martell, rather than taking quiet satisfaction in seeing his bullying behavior go unrewarded.

Martell didn’t deserve the Miami QB job on the merits… but he also didn’t deserve to be laughed at.

The reports later on Monday that he didn’t attend practice might not actually amount to anything serious… but aren’t you at least somewhat concerned about him right now? Would a reasonable person conclude that he is taking this very hard and feels absolutely devastated?

This could be an overreaction, but it certainly isn’t beyond the realm of possibility at the moment: Is Martell mentally troubled? Phrased differently, is this merely a childish reaction on his part to losing the QB1 battle (which is possible), or is he going through more personal trouble and trauma than any of us on the outside can possibly see or understand?

The former answer might be the likely one, but the latter answer — that Martell is mentally disturbed — shouldn’t be ruled out completely… and IF that is the case, the nation’s laughter at Martell will have been severely overplayed.

This brings me to my ultimate point: Don Draper of “Mad Men” has something to say to the nation about Tate Martell.

If you watched the show, you will recall that in Season 2, Episode 9 — “Six Month’s Leave” — Freddy Rumsen drinks to excess in a downward spiral of alcoholism. He wet his pants in public. Three of the men in the office — Ken Cosgrove, Paul Kinsey, and Harry Crane — laughed at Freddy, instead of seeing the severity of his situation and the humiliation he is facing in a business setting.

Empathy and concern for a fellow human being should have come to the forefront, but derision surfaced instead.

Don chastised his three co-workers with this memorable line:

“That’s none of your business. Freddy had a bad day. Can’t you find something else to do besides dining on the drama of other people’s lives like a bunch of teenage girls?”

There is a very big difference between quietly approving of a scenario in which bad behavior was not rewarded, and — at the other end of the spectrum — taking profound pleasure in the downfall of another person.

Are there times when taking pleasure in the downfall of another person is comparatively more acceptable? Yes — when that person committed a crime and truly harmed other people’s lives. Seeing that person brought to justice and being forced to confront a lifetime of sins (or merely a set of severe sins which hurt other people) is a natural and healthy human inclination.

Tate Martell didn’t do that. He ran his mouth and had an inflated opinion of himself, as a college athlete who is trying to square himself with how the world works.

Martell has a lot to learn, and this could merely be a case of a prima donna and a bully getting a splash of cold water in his face — which will hopefully awaken him to the need to reform his behavior — but if this is something a little more serious than that, the derision which flowed through Twitter on Monday will hopefully give way to a more concerned and empathetic mindset among college football fans.

Yes, Tate Martell needs to clean up his act… but we don’t have to dine on the drama of another person’s life like a bunch of teenage girls.

Don Draper knows how to handle this latest “plot twist” in the world of Miami football.

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Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes name Jarren Williams starting QB

Jamil King

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes have officially named the starting quarterback for the start of the 2019 season, and no, it is not Tate Martell the former Ohio State Buckeye and former 5 star recruit.

Further, it is not last years end of season starter, N’Kosi Perry.

Yes, It is Jarren Williams (shown above at the Canes Spring game), a former 4-star recruit, who was red-shirted last season.

Head coach Manny Diaz announced Monday that Williams will be under center, when the Hurricanes season begins against Florida next Saturday in Orlando:

Williams, who has been praised for having the best arm of the group, indeed used that to win this job.
And, he beat out a guy, who transferred from the Buckeyes with a lot of hype in Martell. He also could have transferred on his own, when last season he saw almost no game action, even though Perry and senior Malik Rosier were struggling to lead the offense to points.

Williams played in only one game last season, completing 1 of 3 passes for 17 yards, and running twice for 2 yards and a touchdown in a win over Savannah State.

New offensive coordinator Dan Enos brought in a new offensive system, and it seems as the strong-armed QB was the best man for the job over the up and down Perry and the elusive Martell.

Williams though isn’t a bad athlete he hit 20 miles an hour this summer and can run if needed. He threw for 3,000 yards and ran for another 500 yards in his senior year in Lawrenceville, GA, two years ago.

The question for Miami now is who is going to be QB 2 and will anyone transfer out of the program?

Martell was granted a waiver to get immediate eligibility so would he leave just as fast as he came?
Will Perry stay to fight for the job that was previously his?

Those questions could be answered over the course of August and September.

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