Now Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher is weighing in on the Jamies Winston “Crab Leg” incident from last year. Earlier this week, Winston, the former Heisman Trophy winner who could be taken first overall in this month’s NFL Draft, said he didn’t actually steal the sea food — it was given to him.
According to an article from NBC Sports, Winston spilled the beans to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was interviewing him for an ESPN Draft Academy feature.
“Well, a week before it was my buddy’s birthday and we had got a cake and we met a dude that worked inside Publix and he said, ‘Hey, anytime you come in here, I got you.’” Winston said. “So that day we just walked out and he hooked us up with that.
“And when I went in to get crab legs, did the same thing and he just gave them to me and I walked out. Someone from inside the store had told the security that I didn’t pay for them, and that’s how the whole thing started.”
According to Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman, Fisher says Florida State has nothing to worry about in regard to sanctions.
Jimbo Fisher on Jameis saying he had a "hook-up" regarding the crab legs story: FSU Compliance thinks it's a totally isolated incident.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) April 22, 2015
Although one “isolated” incident could still be a big deal, Feldman reported that Fisher also said “FSU compliance did look in to it back then to make sure nothing was going on.”
It all sounds a little fishy if you will, but on some level it makes sense. If Winston did in fact receive the crab legs as a “gift,” it may have led to an NCAA violation — which sadly would not have been the strangest violation committed by an athlete.
What Winston is initially saying is that he chose, or was advised by someone, to take a shoplifting wrap instead of being cited for improper benefits. For most that would seem silly, but think about it. It’s essentially a slap on the wrist, albeit a PR nightmare, for a guy who knew he would be in the NFL in a year. He might get ribbed by his future NFL teammates, but it wasn’t really going to cost him anything. Had he admitted to taking the crab legs, he may have eventually been forced to sit out games and Florida State could have been hit with sanctions.
If this story is true, it actually makes Winston look pretty good — except for not realizing it was a violation. However, it’s the ultimate “take one for your team” act.
Either way, there is no doubt the national title Winston brought FSU and Fisher didn’t come without a headache or two along the way.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports