Winston lawyer wants decision soon


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The lawyer for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston met with the state attorney Wednesday, hoping to expedite the two-week timetable for a decision on whether charges would come from an investigation into accusations that the Heisman Trophy candidate sexually assaulted a woman.

Attorney Timothy Jansen said he was alarmed by the expected delay by William Meggs' office and the impact the ongoing probe could have on Winston's Heisman candidacy and the unbeaten Seminoles' quest for a berth in the BCS title game.

"We expressed our concerns that the delay would affect Mr. Winston's reputation, voters in the Heisman and Florida State's ability to go to the national championship game," Jansen said Wednesday. "We're hoping this cloud can be lifted sooner rather than later."

Meggs' office said Tuesday that it would be at least two weeks before it decides whether to bring charges, which would put any potential finality to the investigation beyond the deadline for voters for the Heisman and final BCS polls.

The deadline to vote for the Heisman is Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. ET, with the award's presentation on Dec. 14 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET). Florida State will play in the ACC championship game on Dec. 7, and the BCS bowl matchups will be finalized the next day.

Florida State has not allowed Winston or coach Jimbo Fisher to comment on the investigation, but Fisher mentioned the situation for the first time after Wednesday's practice.

"We'll just let the facts come out, I don't want to comment on too much," Fisher said Wednesday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "Let's just wait and see how things turn out."

Jansen wouldn't discuss details of his meeting with Meggs, but he said he believed there was a possibility Meggs' office could make a decision ahead of the timetable it issued.

"I think everybody wants to get this resolved. Fans, law enforcement, Mr. Meggs. Everybody wants to get this resolved and make a decision and go from there," Jansen said.

Winston is the front-runner in the Heisman race, at least statistically, but the potential of criminal charges being brought against him for his role in an alleged assault that occurred nearly a year ago could be enough to sway voters to other candidates.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that it emailed 92 media members who cover college football, including all 60 of its Top 25 poll voters, this question Wednesday:

"If there is no resolution in the criminal investigation involving Jameis Winston before the deadline for Heisman Trophy voting, would you drop him from consideration because of the current allegations against him? Yes or no?"

Thirty-three responded in the unscientific survey. Twenty-seven said no -- they would not remove Winston from consideration for college football's most prestigious individual award.

There will be 928 Heisman voters this year. The AP sample represented 3.6 percent of the total.

Four voters said they would drop Winston from consideration even if there was no resolution. Two Heisman voters said they could not make up their minds.

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