Things seemingly aren’t getting any better for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston as he faces a multi-game suspension from the NFL.
By now, the story is well known. Back in 2016, Winston was accused of sexually abusing an Uber driver after a night out at a club in Arizona. When said driver went public with the allegations last November, the NFL immediately started an investigation.
Initially, current Philadelphia Eagles cornerback and former Winston teammate at Florida State, Ronald Darby, had told investigators that three people were in the ride-share car at the time of the alleged assault.
Until now, the third person had not been named. That changed on Friday. The attorney for former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks indicates that he was with Darby and Winston during the night in question.
Though, his account of the evening is much different.
“Winston, former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks and Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby were at a Scottsdale, Arizona, nightclub in March 2016 when Winston became intoxicated and ‘unruly,’ prompting his friends to send him away in an Uber. ‘What happened after that, they cannot say.’ Banks has never been identified publicly as being at the scene until now,” Banks’ attorney Mark Scruggs told ESPN.
Why is Banks’ name so important when it comes to this situation? He’s currently serving 15 years in prison after being found guilty of taking part in a gang rape of a Vanderbilt student back in 2013.
At the very least, Winston’s decision to hang out with someone who was being accused of such a horrible crime leads to questions about his maturity level. After all, Winston’s days with the Seminoles were defined by a sexual assault allegation against him.
The other issue here is that — contrary to what Darby has told officials — it seems more likely that Winston was in fact a lone during the ride in which he allegedly assaulted the driver.
Certainly, all of this will be taken into account when it comes to a potential Winston suspension. But it’s not looking great for the former No. 1 overall pick.