Florida State University has reached a legal, out of court, settlement with the woman who accused former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of rape while at the University and further claiming that the police department did not adequately investigate the allegations, in part due to Winston’s connection with the University’s football program.
The settlement was announced the day before Erica Kinsman, the woman who accused Winston, was set to make a deposition for the case.
The settlement in the Title IX lawsuit has been reported at $950,000, of which the University has said $750,000 of which would be going to the legal team, though the legal team has said they will be taking a much smaller portion of the settlement.
FSU President, John thrasher, released a statement after the settlement was reached.
“Although we regret we will never be able to tell our full story in court, it is apparent that a trial many months from now would have left FSU fighting over the past rather than looking toward its very bright future,” Thrasher said in the release.
Part of the terms of the settlement included the University undertaking a 5 year plan to increase awareness of sexual assault incidence on campus and to provide more resources as a campus to help victims and hopefully prevent the crime from ever occurring in the first place.
The scandal surrounding Winston and the University has held a pretty strong presence in the media over the last few years, none more so than the year the alleged incident occurred which coincided with Jameis Winston winning the Heisman trophy and the Florida State Seminoles winning the last BCS National Championship game.
While this incident is certainly something Winston, and the University, would like to put behind them, the attention this has gotten in the media has helped expose the problems of sexual assault on college campuses, not just at Florida State University.
Hopefully the steps that the FSU takes as a result of the settlement don’t appear to the rest of the country as a punishment that they are facing, but rather s steps all Universities should take in order to alleviate the problem on college campuses. Hopefully this incident will also raise the levels of accountability for collegiate sports programs and their athletes.
While there is by no means a guarantee that the programs will be as effective as both parties hope, it is nice to see a University doing something to help reduce these types of incidents on their campus. Hopefully others will follow suit without another case like this happening to them.