Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston appeared to shove a referee at the line of scrimmage during the Seminoles 20-17 victory over Boston College Saturday, but the Heisman-winner later denied any ill intentions.
With 5:20 remaining in the third quarter and the scored knotted at 17-17, Winston said he was trying to get the Seminoles next play off quickly. However the center judge was standing near the ball at the line of scrimmage trying to hold the play up so the Golden Eagles could match a Seminoles substitution at running back.
"He was just holding me because he said we had a substitution," Winston said according to ESPN. "It was actually a fast-tempo play, so I was trying to get up under there and let it ride."
Based off the video below first posted by The Big Lead, it appears Winston was looking to get into position by using his left arm to angle the center judge away from the line.
Typically a player is flagged or even thrown out of a game for putting their hands on an official, but no penalty was called. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher defended for his quarterback’s actions.
"I don't think [Winston] realized it. He was caught up in the excitement of the moment," Fisher said. "Hey, you get emotional. He didn't realize. He thought he could snap the ball. ... He knew that was his job -- get out there and set and snap the ball."
For many this is the latest incident in a string of bad behavior for the sophomore and NFL prospect, but it’s the first time anything has occurred on the field. Winston faced accusations of sexual assault earlier this year, and Florida State officials and Tallahassee Police were accused of trying to cover up or squash any investigation into the matter. Winston still must face the school’s disciplinary committee about the allegations.
Winston was also suspended for the Seminoles 23-17 overtime victory over Clemson earlier this season for using a “vulgar phrase” in the middle of the student union, according to USA Today.
The Seminoles are now 11-0, but if Winston has been kicked out of the game they might suffered their first loss of the season. FSU is vying for one of four spots in the College Football Playoff, and any loss late in the season could gravely affect its chances.