#FSU DE Chris Casher's statement during the Code of Conduct hearing:
As a student athlete and someone who once lived in a group housing situation, I was part of a unique group of people who lived differently from most others. Most people do not live, practice, play, eat and travel with the same group of peers nearly every day of their lives. Some unusual practices evolved within out group as a result of the close atmosphere between my fellow teammates and me, one of the things we all came to accept in our shared apartment was a distinct lack of privacy.
Ronald Darby and Jameis Winston are two of my closest friends. However, at the time everything was happening we never had any reason to question our behavior, or whether it was appropriate. Having the benefit of hindsight, I can now clearly see that I could have better handled myself.
When the police came to speak with me I was completely open and honest with them because I wanted to do everything I could to help. I knew that I was not required to speak with them, but I chose to talk anyway. I knew that I did not have to let them look through my cellular phone, but I let them look anyway. I wanted to be fully transparent because I honestly did not believe that any of us had broken the law or done anything wrong, and I wanted to clear the air and put the entire situation to rest.
I believed that the statement I made to the police was private. Maybe that belief was naive, but I had no idea that I was a potential target of investigation, or that anything I said that day would ever be used against me. I was being honest and trying to help, and I find it ironic and incredibly unfair that my honesty may now cost me my position on the football team, or even worse, my status as an FSU Student.
I deeply regret my actions on the evening in question. The atmosphere of over-familiarity with my teammates and the lack of privacy bubble we lived in at the time contributed to my poor choices that night. I entered and attempted to record mostly as a joke with my friend Jameis, but I should never have assumed that his female guest would feel comfortable with my presence in the room.
I want to point out there was nothing surreptitious about my actions in Jameis’ bedroom. I never made an attempt to hide my presence or conceal the fact that I had a video recorder (my phone) with me. I also want to be clear that I deleted the video, of my own volition, shortly after it was made, and before I was aware that any of these events had been reported. I did not retain any copies of the video and I never had the intent to disseminate the video to any others. Ms. (redacted) was not even visible on the video-what little bit that was recorded was completely useless.
Still, I realize that my behavior was inappropriate and I regret it. I had no intention to offend or hurt anyone that evening, but I did. I am truly sorry for the poor choices I made that night, and I have learned from the experience. The most important lesson for me is the wake up call to “grow up.” I am very fortunate to be an FSU student athlete, and I have been making a conscious effort to act like and adult and a gentleman worthy of my position since this incident. I had no ill will, but I also had no place in Jameis’ room that evening. I am embarrassed by my conduct, and I apologize to Ms. (redacted), Jameis, my fellow teammates, and the university for my actions. I commit and pledge to you that I have truly learned from these events, and that all my actions moving forward will be more thoughtful and mature.