Winston hearing: Week of Nov. 17

ByMark Schlabach ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Florida Stateofficials have notified quarterback Jameis Winston that his student conduct code hearing will take place the week of Nov. 17, the attorney representing the woman who accused Winston of sexually assaulting her told on Tuesday.

John Clune, the woman's attorney, said FSU officials didn't provide him with the specific date or location of the hearing.

"We replied to them that we are available and will be ready to go," Clune said. "As far as we can tell, Jameis Winston has still not given an interview to the university."

The hearing will apparently take place after No. 2 Florida State's game at Miami on Nov. 15 and before a Nov. 22 home game against Boston College.

"We aren't concerned with how the hearing correlates with football," Clune told "It is almost two years late and we are just glad to see that it is going to finally happen."

Winston's attorney, David Cornwell of Atlanta, couldn't immediately be reached by, but he did react on Twitter, writing: "FSU gives [the accuser] 20 months to file a complaint and Jameis 13 days to learn 1,000 documents. #dueprocess??"

"Both parties got the same materials at the exact same time," Clune said. "Also, no complaint was ever 'filed' and there is no such process. A school's Title IX obligations to investigate are triggered by learning of a report of sexual assault, which happened almost two years ago in this case. If Mr. Winston has concerns about why the process took so long, a delay that kept Mr. Winston playing football, he can take that complaint up with Florida State."

Retired Florida Supreme Court chief justice Major Harding has been selected to serve as the independent observer who will conduct the upcoming hearing. Harding will hear the case, consider whether or not Winston violated FSU's student conduct code and determine, if necessary, what his punishment will be.

Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, faces as many as four student conduct code violations, including two related to sexual misconduct. The allegations stem from a December 2012 incident in which a former FSU student accused Winston of sexually assaulting her at his off-campus apartment in Tallahassee, Florida. The state attorney's office in Tallahassee chose not to pursue criminal charges against Winston after an investigation last December.

Winston and Cornwell, his attorney,have maintained that Winston had consensual sex with the woman.

In October, FSU officials notified Winston of the upcoming hearing and the unusual process of having an independent observer conducting it. FSU officials proposed having one of the three retired jurists hear the case, and allowed Winston and his accuser to each strike one of the judges from consideration.

Students who are found responsible for violating Florida State's code of conduct face punishment that ranges from a verbal reprimand to expulsion from the university. FSU's student conduct regulations only stipulate that Winston must receive a decision in writing.

It is unknown how long Harding will take to make his decision. Winston and the woman could appeal the decision, according to FSU's student judiciary regulations.

Last school year, Florida State investigated two of Winston's teammates who were with him on the night of the alleged sexual assault for violations stemming from that incident. A hearing panel found Chris Casher responsible for two violations of Florida State's conduct code and sanctioned him with one year of disciplinary probation. Ronald Darby was cleared of wrongdoing. Both remain on Florida State's football team.'s Jared Shanker contributed to this report.

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