Florida State announced Wednesday that quarterback Jameis Winston would be suspended for the first half of Saturday's ACC showdown with Clemson for what the school called inappropriate comments in public.
A number of tweets from FSU students surfaced Tuesday afternoon that said Winston stood up on a table near the school's student union and yelled a vulgar remark; the remark is from a popular online video turned meme.
Winston went ahead with his regularly scheduled news conference Wednesday afternoon and said he had committed "a selfish act."
"First of all I want to apologize to the university, to my coaches and to my teammates," he 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. I really want to apologize to my teammates because I've done a selfish act."
He later said "it eats me alive that I did something like that" and that "I have to tone it down. I have to."
Winston also said his first-half absence shouldn't have an effect on the game: "One person can't change no game or no outcome. I can't go out there and win a football game. (The team) is going to win the football game."
Sophomore Sean Maguire (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) will start for Winston, and Winston said he would watch extra film with Maguire in an effort to help him get ready. Maguire has played in nine career games and is 16-of-26 for 144 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said during Wednesday morning's ACC coaches' teleconference -- before the suspension announcement -- that he spoke with Winston about the incident.
"You don't ever want any kind of instances, but we have to keep learning and educating," Fisher said. "But we have to make better decisions; we have to make good decisions on things."
Fisher also said Winston needs to remember his status. "The statements ... you make are always going to be made more public than statements that other individuals make," Fisher said. "And that's just the nature of the business of who you are and what you are. That's the situation it is and you have to understand that."
A statement from interim school president Garnett Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox called Winston's comments "offensive and vulgar" and said "student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University. Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others."
NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks has mentioned "possible character concerns" as a reason NFL teams could shy away from Winston whenever he enters the NFL draft.
Former Florida State offensive tackle Forrest Conoly, now a radio host and an ESPN3 analyst, told the Tallahassee Democrat that he didn't know if Winston "realizes the scope of what's at stake right here. This kid has the ability to do something nobody has ever done."
Conoly also said he wonders, "You get to a point where you're like, 'Does he really want it? Is this what he wants? Did he get too much too early?' "