Oregon put a 59-20 thrashing on the Florida State Seminoles in the Rose Bowl. But the scoreboard, several Ducks players thought, didn’t say enough.
Running back Kani Benoit, linebacker Christian French, and other Ducks broke into “No Means No” chants–in reference to the rape allegation against losing quarterback Jameis Winston–while mocking Florida State’s Tomahawk Chop during the team’s victory celebration.
In late 2013, a Florida prosecutor found the evidence against Winston insufficient to prosecute. In December, a former Florida Supreme Court justice similarly found the evidence against Winston wanting in an FSU code of conduct hearing about the 2012 encounter that both accuser and accused describe as sexual.
Winston obliquely referenced the controversy surrounding him during a postgame press conference. The quarterback maintained that all he had been through at Florida State had made him a “better person.”
The 2013 Heisman Trophy-winner lost for the first time in his collegiate career on New Year’s Day. A blooper-reel fumble left Winston humiliated in the third quarter before his adversaries sought to embarrass him further during the postgame celebration.
Oregon’s head coach maintained that the poor sportsmanship, to say nothing specifically of the multilevel affronts to political correctness, doesn’t represent his program.
“We are aware of the inappropriate behavior in the postgame,” Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich explained in a statement released to the Associated Press. “This is not what our programs stand for, and the student-athletes will be disciplined internally.”