In August 2013, a few weeks before Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston became a national sensation and leading Heisman Trophy candidate by throwing for four touchdowns in a 41-3 victory at Pittsburgh in his first college start, he offered reporters a few words of wisdom.
They might have been the last intelligent words to come out of his mouth.
"If I get Manziel disease," Winston told reporters, "I want every one of you all to get your mikes and start slapping me on the head."
Obviously, Winston was referring to former Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, whose "Johnny Football" persona seemed to take on a life of its own -- and become more important than his team -- after he won the Heisman Trophy in 2012, becoming the first freshman to nab the award.
Winston, who claimed last year's Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman, has somehow turned "Manziel disease" into a chronic case of knuckleheadedness.
On Wednesday, Florida State officials suspended Winston from playing in the first half of the No. 1 Seminoles' home game against No. 22 Clemson at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Saturday night.
The punishment is the result of Winston allegedly standing on a table near FSU's student union Tuesday and screaming obscenities, which mimicked a popular Internet meme. The phrase is of a sexual nature and, depending on your age, might range from being utterly offensive to tacky (or, sadly, even funny) if you heard it.
Shortly after FSU interim president Dr. Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox announced Winston's one-half suspension in a joint statement, in which they described his behavior as "offensive and vulgar," Winston apologized for his latest off-field troubles, which have become all too familiar in his time at FSU.
"First of all, I want to apologize to the university, my coaches and to my teammates," Winston said. "I'm not a 'me' person, but in that situation, it was a selfish act, and that's not how you do things around here."
Funny, the last time I checked, you can't spell Jameis without "me" and "I."
Sure, Winston is a 20-year-old college student, and 20-year-old college students are apt to make dumb decisions. But how many strikes does Winston get before he goes from being a foolish, immature college student to a complete knucklehead who can't be trusted? He's already into his second at-bat at FSU.
We've heard his apologies too many times before. His words once again ring hollow. After Winston was cited for shoplifting crab legs and crawfish from a Publix grocery store in April, he said in a statement: "I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach. ... I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day."
Oops, he did it again.
Give Florida State a sliver of credit -- at least FSU administrators did something about his behavior this time. When Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a FSU female student in December 2012, FSU officials and the Tallahassee Police Department did little to investigate the credibility of the allegations. The incident wasn't brought to public light until nearly a year later, and only then was the case referred to the state attorney's office.
Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, chose not to pursue criminal charges against Winston in December 2013 after a weeks-long investigation. Only recently did FSU officials reopen their own inquiry of the allegations, after the university was accused of ignoring the woman's Title IX rights by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
Is Winston so self-absorbed that he couldn't realize the ramifications of shouting the obscenities on the FSU campus on Tuesday? It would seem that Winston -- after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman, and still being under scrutiny for the alleged incident -- would be the last person who needed to repeat the vulgar words he shouted, regardless of where they originated and how popular they might be on college campuses.
Then again, it's not as if Florida State officials have done much to curb his questionable behavior. Whenever Winston ran afoul of the law in the past, FSU officials essentially shrugged their shoulders and waved it off as Jameis being Jameis.
After Winston was caught taking the crab legs and crawfish without paying, he was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service and was suspended from playing in a three-game baseball series against Minnesota. But FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher didn't discipline him for the incident. You know what they say about double jeopardy.
And let's not forget that Winston's redshirt sophomore season at FSU might not be anything more than an audition for NFL head coaches and general managers. Before the season, he was widely regarded as the No. 1 quarterback available for next spring's NFL draft, if not the top prospect overall.
At a time when the NFL is dealing with a public-relations nightmare when it comes to domestic violence, NFL owners, general managers and coaches might have cringed after hearing what Winston said on Tuesday.
Some might argue that Winston's punishment for the latest incident isn't severe enough. In fact, FSU officials might have set him up to return to the spotlight once again after getting a slight slap on the wrist. What if backup quarterback Sean Maguire, who has attempted only 26 passes in his college career, struggles against Clemson, only to have Winston come into the game after halftime and lead the Seminoles to another victory? Winston will be the hero once again.
During his news conference on Wednesday, Winston talked about the adversity the Seminoles would have to overcome against the Tigers on Saturday. It's another distraction he created.
"You've got to overcome adversity -- and that's one thing at Florida State we do," Winston said. "We're gonna overcome adversity. And when I do get my opportunity to play, I'll do everything I can."
Even if Winston made the mess again.