However, in light of a new piece in the New York Times that reputation--and whatever reputation Florida State and the Tallahassee PD have--is severely tarnished.
Much has already been written about how the school and police handled the incident poorly. The school is currently under investigation for possible Title IX violations related to the case. What was new in the piece was information about a second woman that had a disturbing sexual encounter with Winston:
A month before the rape accusation became public, the university’s victim advocate learned that a second woman had sought counseling after a sexual encounter with Mr. Winston, according to the prosecutor’s office. The woman did not call it rape — she did not say “no.” But the encounter, not previously reported, “was of such a nature that she felt violated or felt that she needed to seek some type of counseling for her emotions about the experience,” according to Georgia Cappleman, the chief assistant state attorney, who said she had spoken with the advocate but not with the woman.It is important to note that she did not say that she was raped or that anything illegal occurred; just that something occurred that she felt she needed counseling over.
The school and the police department will be able to whether the storm that is going to result from this piece. As serious as the accusations sound it would not be shocking if certain officials involved ended up stepping down.
However, it will be much harder for Winston to weather.
His reputation is blown. He gives of a 'good guy' vibe and seems like a really good kid that loves football, but the picture the Times piece paints is not a good one. It will end up changing how many see the young quarterback.
The only thing that might save his reputation is if he does something he has yet to do in regards to the sexual assault case--talk. He has yet to say a word. As long as he is quiet folks will be left with things like the Times piece to draw their opinions from.
If they do that the chances their opinion of Winston is going to be good is slim to none.
[Information from NYTimes used in this post]