By DYLAN WEEMS
This weekend’s Saturday night football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Florida State Seminoles drew a television rating of 8.5, the highest of the season. This beat last year’s Florida State versus Clemson game by 130 percent.
Obviously a top 5 match-up between these two storied teams will naturally draw attention, especially due to the playoff implications. However, the massive ratings boost came largely due to ESPN’s coverage of the polarizing Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston.
Winston has been in the spotlight recently and it isn’t because of his Heisman Trophy or his ability to win, it’s because of his off-field troubles.
Winston has come under fire for multiple allegations beginning with his alleged rape case in 2012 and most recently for allegedly taking money for autographs.
It is safe to say that ESPN has had a lot to talk about, but the analysts seem to be becoming biased. The sentiment among the masses is that the ESPN panel loves the SEC and wants to see Florida State fail so that they can tear into the FSU quarterback more while also touting the greatness of the Southeastern Conference.
I feel that fans need to understand that every time ESPN shows a picture of Winston in his FSU uniform, they are advertising for the school. Winston is undefeated in his past two years as the Florida State quarterback. That brings positive attention to the school despite his off-field antics.
The point is this: Winston is innocent until proven guilty and although Florida State may not have handled his investigations in the most timely or thorough manner, he should not be ridiculed by the media simply because he wins.
Whether he committed either crime that I mentioned above, I cannot say. What I can say is that it is unfair for the media to will Jameis Winston to be a criminal just so that his football team can lose. It’s just a game.