What people are saying about Jameis Winston and this week's New York Times story
1. Slate's Emily Bazelon: At the outset of this tale of error — and possibly corruption — I wrote that “sexual assault charges against star athletes are often a kind of poison, one that acts less on the athlete in question than the woman who says she is the victim.” The woman who says Winston raped her was relentlessly criticized at FSU and withdrew from her classes. Winston won the Heisman Trophy. It’s too late to alter any of that. But I hope the Times story hits FSU and the Tallahassee police with the force to produce fundamental change. And I hope other universities and police departments treat this as a warning and a wake-up call, too.
2. Baine Kerr, a Title IX attorney representing the woman who said she was raped by Winston: "The university took the position that since he refused to respond to questions, they could not make any Title IX findings. We have objected to that as impermissible reason to delay or terminate a Title IX sexual assault investigation because that would permit any charged party to thwart an investigation simply by refusing to answer questions."
3. Erin Buzuvis, a law professor at Western New England University and a Title IX expert: "The law is not supposed to operate in a way to reward people who don't cooperate with either criminal or civil investigations. It's just bizarre to think that would result in, 'Oh, I guess we just can't do anything.' Who would ever cooperate with anything?"
4. Kristine Newell, a lecturer at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass: "Just because some parties don't cooperate doesn't mean they need to stop their investigation. That doesn't make any kind of sense morally, ethically, legally."
5. Katie Hnida, who was a kicker for the Colorado football team in 2000 when she said she had been raped by a teammate: "It's a weird thing to be horrified and not surprised at the same time. ... If you look at the FSU case, you can see rape culture right there, because a university did not look into this because their starting quarterback was involved. Or rape culture was the Tallahassee police department not doing an (acceptable) investigation. It's something that allows rape to thrive."
6. ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon: "When you read things like that, yes, yes, yes, you have to look at it in a different light. Even though we can't draw any new conclusions, it just scares me."
7. Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams: A justice and educational system that repeatedly protects athletes accused of sexual assault, one that dismisses and ignores the claims of alleged victims, is a system that send a chilling message to its men and its women. It’s one that says that if you can throw a ball, you get to play by a different set of rules.
8. Esquire's Charlie Pierce: It is an amazing tale of incredibly awful police work, celebrity justice, and deliberate institutional ignorance and cruelty. Absolutely nobody gets out of this story alive. ... Everything in this culture is turning into a casino, and most of the casinos are rigged.