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Lovie Smith defends Winston after huge criticism from Seminoles legend

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Jameis Winston has endured his fair share of controversy during his career thus far. The former Heisman Trophy winner will go down as one of the greatest college football players in history, but several off-the-field incidents marred his time at Florida State.

Most Seminoles fans adore Winston for the feats that he achieved on the field, but there are plenty of fans in Florida that despise him for the things that he is alleged to have done off the field.

Those incidents include one that resulted in Winston being accused of raping a young woman, claims that have never been proven. Despite the fact that Winston is innocent until proven guilty, legendary former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden slammed Winston this week and labelled him an "embarrassment" to Florida State University.

Winston an embarrassment?

"I think it's a consensus among Florida State fans and boosters that he was an embarrassment, in a lot of ways, to the university," Bowden said on "The Paul Finebaum Show".

It is safe to say that these comments didn't go down well with Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, whose team selected Winston with the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft last month, and Smith issued this strong statement on Wednesday in support of the 21-year-old quarterback.

"I'm disappointed. To say that the young man is an 'embarrassment'? That's pretty strong," Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. "I just don't think he's speaking for all of Florida State, even though he's in an official role there. Normally, when you're in a family, you don't do that. I'm very disappointed that somebody like that would make that type of statement."

Understandable response

These are pretty strong comments from Smith in support of Winston and it's no surprise that the Bucs head coach has taken this stance. Whatever you think about Winston's antics in college, he was a young man then, and regarding his sexual allegations he is innocent until proven guilty.

What do you make of Bowden's comments on Winston and Lovie Smith's response? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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