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Winston on the verge of avoiding assault charges?

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Jameis Winston was on the verge of putting BCS and Heisman voters in a massive quandary. If Winston's fate over possible rape charges wasn't decided until next week, it would run the risk of him being awarded the Heisman before getting arrested - and put the Florida State Seminoles in the national championship game without him. Yet those scenarios may not come to pass after all on Dec. 5, when Florida state attorney William Meggs announces the results of his investigation.

While the announcement won't come until 2 p.m. est, Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel wrote on Dec. 4 that signs point to the Seminoles quarterback being in the clear. He quotes former Meggs co-worker Chuck Hobbs as saying that since Meggs is holding a press conference, it is "a strong signal" that Winston won't be charged. He also claims other "Tallahassee-area criminal defense attorneys" agree it would be "out of character" for Meggs to address the media before arresting a suspect.

Before news of the press conference came down, Meggs gave the impression that a decision might come as late as next week. In that scenario, the BCS and Heisman votes would have been settled before the investigation ended -- which could have blown back on them if Winston was arrested.

The fact that a decision has been made early anyway might be another sign that Winston will be okay. If he isn't charged, then he will lead the Seminoles in the ACC championship game on Dec. 7 without any controversy -- and likely win the conference, a BCS title game berth and the Heisman Trophy without any. Of course, since the alleged victim claimed that Winston raped her on Dec. 7 of last year, having him play and win so much on that anniversary would be uneasy either way.

If Wetzel and his sources are correct, this ordeal will end today -- at least in the public eye -- and Winston and the Seminoles will get to move on. The alleged victim, her family and supporters, and those who protest against special treatment for athletes will be another matter.

But while they would likely continue to speak out, those associated with Florida State, the BCS and Heisman would be too busy breathing sighs of relief. No one has official knowledge of Meggs' decision, yet the guesses are favoring Winston, at least for the next few hours.



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