Florida State University got prime billing during Tuesday’s Florida gubernatorial debate and not in a positive way.
Both Governor Rick Scott and Democratic Challenger Charlie Crist were asked to respond to the ongoing scrutiny of FSU stemming from the sexual assault allegations leveled against its star quarterback and charges of favoritism by police for FSU football players.
“We’ve seen a lot of the focus on it and I think that’s a good thing," says Crist. "We’ve seen the stories out of the NFL. This is a problem America has and we have to address it in a serious way," he said alluding to several high-profile arrests and expulsions of professional players for domestic violence.
Scott added he believes there shouldn’t be different standards for different students.
"My goal is that every athlete, every student be held to the highest standard, and the same standards," he says.
Meanwhile, Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie, called the question and its placement in the debate "odd", but answered anyway. In a simulcast, Wyllie says one thing he would do is throw out oversight boards in all aspects of education. He also says, "I don't think its the role of the governor to get involved in a football program at a state college."
Winston’s off-field antics like shoplifting crab legs from a grocery store and yelling an obscene phrase in the student union have earned him notoriety. He’s currently facing a university disciplinary hearing to determine if there are code-of-conduct violations stemming from the 2012 allegations. He was never charged with a crime. FSU remains under federal investigation for its handling of the sexual assault allegations against Winston.