Florida State In No Win Situation

Florida State is in a no win scenario with the Karlos Williams situation.

Senior running back Karlos Williams is currently involved one police investigation, and was named in another. On Saturday October 25th, the Tallahassee Police Department initiated an investigation of domestic battery by Karlos Williams upon his girlfriend. An earlier NoleDigest article laid out the details of the case against Williams.

Since then Williams’ girlfriend’s attorney, Nathan Prince, has asked that the case be dropped , and that his client did not initiate the claim of domestic battery. It is unclear whether the police department will drop the case after this development, as the state is still responsible for investigating domestic violence cases even if the victim chooses not to press charges. Public records officer David Northway could not be reached for comment on the situation.

The investigation that Williams is named in is an armed robbery investigation that has already led to one arrest, though the police department is looking for two other accomplices. Williams has not been named a suspect in the robbery.

According to a Tallahassee Democrat report the victim of the robbery named Williams as his contact for a marijuana deal.

“According to a TPD incident report, the victim said Williams was his "hook up" for marijuana. He explained to police that he would contact Williams, who then would contact a drug dealer to set up a place to meet. The victim said in the police report that Williams set up such a deal on June 23, in which three men showed up at his house just a few blocks west of Doak Campbell Stadium, so he could buy an eighth of an ounce of marijuana for $50.”

Head coach Jimbo Fisher spoke with the media Tuesday evening, and reiterated the Florida State athletic department’s email that was sent out Monday.

“The Athletics Department is aware of an investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department involving football student-athlete Karlos Williams. Until we receive more information regarding the alleged incident his status with the team will be under review.”

Fisher would not comment anymore on the subject, but indicated that Williams will be available to play on Thursday.

Florida State had to make a difficult choice here. The University could suspend Williams until the investigations are completed, or they could wait for due process to play out to see if Williams is going to be charged as they have they have done previously. Either choice was going to have its backlash.

Many members of the media have called for Williams to be suspended.

Florida State, however, has been consistent in how it has treated such situations and will not suspend a player on the basis of allegations alone. If they were to change that policy in this case, the national media would be sure to have presented Florida State as hypocritical after the way the University handled the Jameis Winston investigation. It could be construed as giving Winston preferential treatment, when Winston was not suspended during the sexual assault investigation that was brought against him last November. The media backlash from this change in policy could have been just as severe as the one calling for Williams to be suspended.

In the end Florida State has chosen to stand by Williams and presume innocence until shown otherwise, allowing for due process, for better or for worse.

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