Tallahassee, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Florida State has suspended quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston from its baseball team after he was issued a civil citation for shoplifting.
According to sheriff’s deputies, Winston walked out of a supermarket without paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish.
The university’s athletic department code of conduct/discipline policy provides that a student-athlete with a civil citation is eligible to practice and compete, but that the head coach decides whether he/she will.
“I am confident he will complete his community service obligation and the situation will be resolved soon,” FSU coach Mike Martin said of Winston, who is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 16 appearances this spring.
Leon County Sheriff’s Maj. Michael Wood said that Winston ordered the food at the deli in a Tallahassee, Fla.-area Publix Tuesday night. After receiving the order, he left the store without paying.
Wood said Publix employees called deputies, who went to Winston’s apartment. Wood said Winston was “very cooperative” in a post-Miranda interview and acknowledged not paying for the food, saying he forgot.
After consulting with Publix managers, deputies issued Winston a civil citation that will require him to complete at least 20 hours of community service. If he does that, no criminal charges will be filed.
“As reported in the news, last night I received an adult citation for petit theft from a local supermarket,” Winston said in a statement. “I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I’m taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.”
“I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach. Over the last year I’ve learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day,” he added.
Winston steered the Florida State football team to the national championship last season as a freshman, starring in the undefeated Seminoles’ 34-31 victory over Auburn in the championship game.