Report: Ex-Florida Supreme Court justice to hear Winston case

Retired Florida Supreme Court chief justice Major Harding has been chosen to preside over Jameis Winston's student code-of-conduct hearing, according to WCTV in Tallahassee.

Winston is accused of sexually assaulting a female student at his off-campus apartment in December 2012 and is facing as many as four violations of the code of conduct. State Attorney Willie Meggs announced in December 2013 that he wouldn't pursue criminal charges against Winston after investigating the incident.

Harding, 79, was among three retired Florida Supreme Court justices under consideration for the role of conducting the hearing. Winston and his accuser each were each allowed to strike one of the three candidates from the list, and attorneys for both parties did so last week.

Harding served as a Florida Supreme Court justice from 1991-2002 and was chief justice of the court from 1998-2000. He's currently a practicing attorney with a Tallahassee law firm and is a graduate of Wake Forest and Virginia's law school.

Per WCTV, Harding said he's in negotiations with FSU to determine how much he'll be paid to serve as hearing officer. He also said no date has been set for the hearing.

Winston's attorney, David Cornwell, has expressed concerns about the hearing's procedures, including the FSU rule that attorneys cannot speak on behalf of a charged student.

FSU has come under significant scrutiny for its initial response to the sexual-assault allegation made against Winston, most recently in FOX Sports report. FSU is under a federal investigation for Title IX compliance in regard to the matter.

Winston and the top-ranked Seminoles are off this week and will next play at Louisville on Oct. 30.

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