The famous Jameis payout

Ty Sugick

News broke on Monday afternoon that Florida State University agreed to pay out $950,000 to Erica Kinsman, the woman who accused former Seminoles football star Jameis Winston of sexual assault. Now why would a major university pay out a victim of a case that proved the defendant to be innocent?

Maybe the university decided to pay Erica Kinsman because Winston was in fact guilty. Florida State saw the potential to win a second national championship under Winston’s helm, so when word broke of Kinsman’s case in 2012, the university did everything in their power to keep her quiet.

Kinsman remained persistent in her efforts to make her voice heard. After some time, Florida State was no longer able to hide the case and protect their star quarterback. Winston, after months, had to face the music and go to trial for his actions. Winston, of course, was found to be innocent because of the lack of evidence and the time gap between the incident and when the charges were filed.

Before the payout news broke, the timing of Kinsman’s accusations was all too convenient. He won a national championship, a Heisman award and was in line to be a first-round NFL draft pick. Like most cases with star athletes, most would believe she was looking to make quick money by being paid off.

Now, this isn’t the case because it is not Winston paying Kinsman off. Instead, it’s the university a year after Winston left campus.

Let’s be reminded in the midst of this allegation that Winston also had several other off-the-field incidents, such as yelling obscenities in the university’s student union. Winston is a star athlete who could have anything and do anything he wanted because his name fills seats on Sundays. It is unfair to someone like Kinsman, who had to transfer out due to the scrutiny she took on campus for speaking out.

If Winston is truly innocent, why pay Kinsman? Why did it take a rape case involving a star quarterback for a university as large as Florida State to decide to fund campaigns to help prevent sexual assault?

Let’s be honest, Florida State paid Kinsman to right their wrongs.

Ty Sugick is a sports columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].