Tigers get a break as FSU suspends Winston for half

Jameis WinstonClemson’s chances of upsetting defending national champion Florida State on Saturday just got a little better.

Florida State suspended Heisman Trophy quarterback Jameis Winston for the first half of Saturday’s game against Clemson after he was seen shouting an obscene phrase in the campus student union.

Sophomore Sean Maguire will start as the No. 1 Seminoles host No. 22 Clemson on Saturday. Maguire has completed 16 of 26 attempts during his career.

FSU interim president Dr. Garnett S. Stokes and athletics director Stan Wilcox denounced Winston’s “offensive and vulgar” behavior in a statement Wednesday to announce the punishment .

“As the university’s most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University,” the joint statement said. “Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others.”

The statement also said Winston would undergo “internal discipline.”

Deadspin collected a number of tweets from Florida State students who said they saw Winston standing on a table Tuesday “screaming” the phrase which uses graphic sexual language. The obscenity is a gag rooted in an Internet meme that has gone viral on college campuses.

“It was not a good decision,” coach Jimbo Fisher said during Wednesday’s ACC teleconference. “You can’t make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory to any person, race or gender. You have to understand that.

“You have to be very intelligent about what you say, (because) it matters.”

Winston was accused of sexual assault last year. The state prosecutor in Tallahassee declined to bring charges against Winston, saying the evidence was unlikely to lead to a conviction.

Winston has been involved in a series of incidents since arriving at Florida State three years ago. He was issued a civil citation earlier this year after stealing crab legs from a Tallahassee Publix.

Winston apologized Wednesday for his “selfish” act on campus Tuesday.

“First of all, I want to apologize to the university, my coaches and to my teammates,” Winston said. “I’m not a ‘me’ person, but in that situation, it was a selfish act and that’s not how you do things around here.

“I want to apologize to my teammates because I have now made a selfish act for them. That’s all.”

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