Florida State QB Jameis Winston apologizes for shoplifting crab legs

Florida State QB Jameis Winston apologizes for shoplifting crab legs
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston celebrates after being named the MVP of the BCS national championship game. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston admitted Wednesday to stealing $32 worth of crab legs at a Tallahassee supermarket and was immediately suspended ... from the baseball team.

It's easy to get cynical any time a Heisman Trophy winner gets off easy on a seafood pilfering charge and, really, this latest incident is probably sillier than it is serious.


Winston ordered crab legs at a local Publix and walked out without paying. Big deal. He did it, got caught and admitted to it after the cops on the "Snow (Crab) Patrol" tracked him down.

Winston will not face criminal charges and his latest bungled snap of judgment will not in any way impair (whew) Florida State's chances of defending its football championship next fall.

In fact, it seems football was even allowed to pass the suspension buck on to baseball. Winston, who is also a pitcher on the Seminoles' baseball team, will be sent to the showers until he completes 20 hours of community service.

Florida State football Coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement he "fully supported" the decision Winston should sit out baseball games.

Fisher said he would "make sure that Jameis meets all obligations, which I know he will."

Winston, a third-year sophomore and only 20 years old, apologized for causing embarrassment to himself and the university as his actions sparked a pun-filled flurry of seafood jokes on social media.

"That's so shellfish," ESPN columnist Rick Reilly immediately tweeted.

There were clever photoshopped pictures of Winston, carrying a crab, striking the Heisman pose.

Winston must have taken literally the sale tag on the crab display that said "Grab N Go."

"In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items," Winston said in a statement.

Shouldn't Winston, though, be moving beyond his "youthful ignorance" stage? He is the reported leader of a national championship football team.

Or, maybe, this just who Winston is. His crab caper will go in the books as a civil, not criminal, infraction, meaning Winston once again sidestepped serious ramifications. He has never been pinned with anything above petty but has been tied to a BB gun shooting prank and walking out of a Burger King without paying for a soda.

More seriously, last fall, he avoided charges in a rape allegation by a Florida State student.

"I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach," Winston said Wednesday.


He just realizes that now?

Winston's pattern of behavior suggests the sense of entitlement that often comes to one who receives premature fame at a spotlight sports university.

The school official who wrote out Wednesday's apology for Winston certainly gets it.

The quotes attributed to Winston read, "I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation."

But does the real Jameis Winston get it?

He hasn't learned or grown since last December, when he was cleared of rape charges by the state attorney in another fishy case that is being investigated by higher branches of government.

We must all accept the fact Winston has not been charged with any crimes and is free to lead Florida State to another national title. He is a gifted player with extraordinary talents (ask anyone and Auburn).

Just spare us any next-fall public relations reclamation campaign that attempts to cast Winston as duped, naive, mistreated or misunderstood.

We get it. He's a great player who, today, is obviously a bigger asset to Seminoles' football than he is to baseball.

Winston has shown, over time, that he is who he is.

That may not be good enough for you, me or SpongeBob SquarePants but, until further legal notice, it's good enough for Florida State.