Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will miss the first half of the top-ranked Seminoles’ home game Saturday against Clemson.
In a joint statement released by interim president Garnett Stokes and athletics director Stan Wilcox, FSU announced Wednesday that Winston had been suspended for a half after making “offensive and vulgar” comments Tuesday.
Deadspin.com first picked up several tweets from FSU students who saw Winston yelling lewd and sexually-charged remarks while standing on top of a table on campus. The remarks stem from an Internet meme that’s popular among college students.
“I just want to apologize to the university, to my coaches and to my teammates,” Winston said. “I’m not a ‘me’ person, but, in that situation, that was a selfish act. And that’s not how you do things around here.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
FSU’s statement said that it expects athletes to “uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior and act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others.”
This incident is the latest in a long line for Winston, whose successes on the field have gone hand-in-hand with negative headlines off of it.
Winston took college football by storm as a redshirt freshman, setting school and national records on the way to a Heisman Trophy and a national title.
But he has also been at the center of controversy since November 2013, when news that he was at the center of a sexual-assault investigation became public.
No criminal charges were filed against Winston, but he could still face discipline if FSU finds that he violated its code of conduct policy.
Since then, Winston has been in the news for incidents involving BB guns, stolen soda from a fast-food restaurant and stolen crab legs from a grocery store.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Wednesday that the university was considering an appropriate response to Winston’s latest misstep. The suspension came down about an hour later.
“It was something that has to be addressed,” Fisher said. “You can’t make statements that are derogatory. You have to understand that.”
Winston held his regularly-scheduled news conference Wednesday and issued an apology before fielding football-related questions.
“I did something, so I’ve got to accept my consequences,” Winston said. “It eats me alive that I did something like that.”
Sean Maguire, a third-year sophomore from New Jersey, will start at quarterback against Clemson.
Maguire entered spring camp in 2013 as a fourth-stringer. But Winston’s overwhelming success led fellow challengers Clint Trickett and Jacob Coker to transfer and allowed Maguire to ascend to No.2 on the depth chart.
Maguire has 144 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in his brief career. He completed 3of5 passes for 28 yards in relief duty during FSU’s win against The Citadel on Sept.6.
Winston said he intends to spend the rest of the week helping Maguire prepare for Clemson and that he’s still confident that Florida State will beat the No.24 Tigers.
“Sean’s going to go out there and do what he has to do,” Winston said. “Our running backs are going to do what they have to do, our offensive linemen are going to go out and we’re going to win the football game.”