Jameis Winston had just led Florida State to a 45-7 victory over Duke for the ACC title on Saturday, ensuring the Seminoles a spot in the BCS championship game next month.
The star quarterback also was just two days removed from learning he would not be charged in a sexual assault investigation that had been looming over his head since last month.
ESPN reporter Heather Cox has drawn some criticism — particularly from FSU fans and Winston's lawyer, Tim Jansen, who keeps tweeting about the incident — for focusing more on the latter topic during her postgame interview with Winston.
FSU officials told her certain areas were off limits during the sideline interview. She agreed and then violated those terms.— Tim Jansen (@rtimjansen) December 9, 2013
The Heisman Trophy finalist actually didn't seem to mind the line of questioning but was taken away by what appeared to be a school official before answering Cox's fifth question and fourth about the investigation.
Cox told SI.com on Sunday night that Florida State officials "were fully aware that I was going to ask about the investigation. I was never once asked not to ask about the investigation, and if I had been asked not to ask those questions, I would have declined to do the interview because I would not have been able to do my job"
She continued: "I think a lot of people out there think I ambushed [Winston] and went against Coach [Jimbo] Fisher and the Florida State PR group, and that is not at all the case. They were fully aware of my intent to ask questions about the investigation."
Cox said that she and a team from ESPN, including management, decided on the line of questioning before the interview and that she didn't focus on the game because it was a blowout. The network issued a statement in support of its reporter.
She added that she spoke with Fisher for about five minutes in the tunnel to clear the air.
Check out the video of the interview above. Do you think Cox's questions were appropriate given the high-profile nature of the investigation and the player it involved? Or was she out of line due to the timing and circumstances involving the interview?
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