Former Florida State quarterback and NFL hopeful Jameis Winston appears to be backpedaling from his original story of what happened during that infamous crab-theft incident last spring.
Appearing on an episode of ESPN's "Draft Academy" ahead of next week's NFL Draft, the potential No. 1 pick gave a different account of what happened than previously reported.
Last April, Winston was issued a petty theft citation after he didn't pay for the crab legs he took from a Publix market in Tallahassee, Florida. The 21-year-old said he forgot to pay, and called it "a terrible mistake for which I'm taking full responsibility."
But on "Draft Academy" this week, Winston changed his story. Now he says he received the seafood for free as part of an arrangement with a store employee and that teammates benefited, as well.
In the February-filmed "Draft Academy" conversation above (the crab discussion begins around the 1:40 mark), Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch advised Winston to be straightforward with NFL teams about the incident.
Then, the controversial 2013 Heisman Trophy winner offered this account:
Well, a week before it was my buddy’s birthday and we had got a cake and we met a dude that worked inside Publix and he said, ‘Hey, anytime you come in here, I got you.’ So that day we just walked out and he hooked us up with that. And when I went in to get crab legs, he did the same thing and he just gave them to me and I walked out. Someone from inside the store had told the security that I didn't pay for them, and that's how the whole thing started.
Harbaugh recommended that he put the story "in a tidy box."
Several outlets noted that, if true, Winston receiving free food because of his football star status could constitute a possible NCAA violation. But that would not affect his eligibility for the NFL Draft, which begins April 30.
Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher said Wednesday that the school's compliance officials believe the incident was isolated. "They don’t think it’s anything else more than that," he said, according to Yahoo.
But, according to TMZ Sports, the school is looking into the matter. "The details disclosed by Winston in that interview were not previously known to the University," athletic director Stan Wilcox wrote in a statement published by the website. "As is the case with all matters of this type, we will work in partnership with the NCAA to determine whether a violation occurred."
This story was updated to include comment from Jimbo Fisher and the school's athletic department.
H/T Sporting News