<
>

Jameis Winston expects to face Irish

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Despite an upcoming disciplinary hearing, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and head coach Jimbo Fisher said they fully expect the redshirt sophomore to participate in next Saturday's game against No. 6 Notre Dame.

"Of course," Winston said after the 38-20 win over Syracuse.

As reported by ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, Winston was notified Friday he will face a disciplinary hearing from an alleged sexual assault in December 2012. He has five school days to schedule an information hearing -- in which he'll be advised about his rights -- and a student conduct hearing will be held soon thereafter.

At issue is whether Winston violated the university's student conduct code. The reigning Heisman winner could reportedly be charged with as many as four violations.

On Friday, reports began circulating that tied Winston to the same autograph authenticator involving Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who was suspended indefinitely for allegedly accepting payment for his signatures. Winston has not been directly accused of accepting money, but the implication is out there. Fisher said there's nothing to it.

"Kids sign things all the time," Fisher said. "So what do you want them to do -- stop signing stuff? We could make them not have any fans from that standpoint and not sign for anybody. That's what it's going to come to, and that's a shame for college football that we can't take a kid, somebody exploits a kid. Now, if they're getting paid for it, then I don't have any knowledge of that. I don't believe Jameis did."

Winston, the past year's Heisman winner, has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons a lot this year. In May, he missed time from the baseball team and was sentenced to community service after stealing crab legs from a local supermarket. The past month, he was suspended against Clemson after yelling an obscene phrase on campus.

The off-the-field incidents don't appear to have impacted his performance. In five games this season, Winston has thrown for 1,605 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He is 19-0 as the Seminoles' starting quarterback.

"It's not about distractions -- it's about playing Florida State football," Winston said when asked how he has thrived under so many distractions. "It's about going out there every day in practice, doing our school work, making sure we're being a great student-athlete. And like I said, being on the field, it's a sanctuary. You get between those lines, all the cameras are on you, and we're out there playing football."

With the win, the Seminoles appear to control their own destiny in the College Football Playoff. They're the top-ranked team in the nation, and they have a chance next Saturday against No. 6 Notre Dame to further prove their case to the playoff committee. The Irish are the highest-ranked team on the Seminoles' regular-season schedule.