Jameis Winston, the Heisman Trophy-winning Florida State quarterback who may be the first overall pick in next year’s NFL draft, was reportedly given a citation for trying to walk out of a grocery store with crab legs that he didn’t pay for.
Florida State sports site Tomahawk Nation first reported that Winston, an extremely talented passer who might have been the first pick in this year’s draft if not for the NFL rule requiring players to be three years out of high school, was cited for shoplifting. (The initial report referred to the matter as an “arrest,” but the site later corrected that report and said it was only a citation.) According to the report, Winston was caught shoplifting crab legs at Publix.
However, details of the incident have been hard to pin down. Although Tomahawk Nation cited an unnamed source within the Tallahassee Police, the department released a statement saying that it has not had any recent contact with Winston at all.
But the Leon County Sheriff’s Department told Tallahassee TV station WTXL that deputies have had recent contact with Winston and that the Sheriff’s Department will have a 2 p.m. news conference to discuss the details.
Law enforcement agencies aren’t ordinarily in the business of holding news conferences to discuss shoplifting citations, but Winston is no ordinary figure: He’s the biggest star in college football, and he’s previously been the subject of a major controversy after he was accused of rape. Prosecutors declined to press charges in that case, and the Tallahassee Police have been sharply criticized for not doing enough to investigate the matter.
This is obviously nowhere near as serious an allegation. It’s just an odd story, and one for which some details still need to be filled in.