We applaud Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, who said that players on his team who taunted Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will be disciplined.
Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a former female student in 2013 but was never arrested or charged and was cleared of any wrongdoing in a student code of conduct hearing.
In the moments after Oregon trounced Florida State 59-20 in the College Football Playoff national semifinal, a few Oregon players thought it would be funny to do the tomahawk chant with the phrase, “No means no” during the postgame celebration.
Helfrich released a statement to the Associated Press saying, “We are aware of the inappropriate behavior in the postgame. This is not what our programs stand for, and the student-athletes will be disciplined internally.”
Because of the sexual assault accusation, Winston has been the whipping boy of the media (you may recall Heather Cox of ESPN's disgraceful "gotcha!" moment; Clay Travis's disgraceful rush to judgment; and Geraldo's cherry-picking facts).
The stigma of a rape accusation is often never erased, no matter the identity of the accused or the circumstances of the accusation. A university should not tolerate disrespect for an opposing player or for due process, and the coach's decision to discipline the players is the right call.