Documents show Florida State's Winston was cleared

Associated Press

Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was cleared of the accusations he faced at a student code of conduct hearing involving an alleged sexual assault two years ago, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday.

Former Florida Supreme Court judge Major Harding wrote in a letter to Winston that the evidence was "insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof."

A prosecutor made a similar decision a year ago when he decided not to criminally charge Winston, citing a lack of evidence.

This month, the hearing was to determine whether Winston violated four sections of the code of conduct — two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment.

The ramifications for Winston ranged from a reprimand to expulsion from school.

The woman can request an appeal within five days.

Florida State president John Thrasher said in a statement that the university selected Harding to remove any doubt about the integrity of the process.

"He conducted a thorough Student Conduct Code hearing and reviewed more than 1,000 pages of evidence generated by three other investigations, and we would like to thank him sincerely for his service," Thrasher said.

The woman's lawyers did not immediately respond to messages left by the Associated Press.

Florida State faces Oregon in a College Football Playoffs semifinal on Jan. 1.

Kyle improvements

The west side of Texas A&M University's Kyle Field has been imploded as part of football stadium improvements.

The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports that about 5,000 cheering spectators watched the Sunday morning implosion from a nearby parking lot. Police say another 2,000 were scattered across campus.

The updated west side of the Aggie stadium will include new suites and premium areas for fans, the Hall of Champions and upgraded TV broadcast facilities.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said during a ceremony before the implosion that another $35 million in donations have been collected for the project, which now tops $485 million.

The redevelopment is expected to be finished in time for the 2015 football season, pushing Kyle Field seating capacity above 102,500.

Illini cash in

The University of Illinois will receive $1.6 million for playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Friday against Louisiana Tech, a bowl spokesman Brant Ringler said.

Attendance is estimated to be between 25,000 and 30,000 for the game, which is to be aired on ESPN this year instead of ESPNU as in past years, Ringler said.

That will "increase exposure dramatically for the teams in the game," he told The (Champaign) News Gazette.

Illinois' allotment for the bowl game is 4,000 tickets and some will be distributed free to family members and others, Illini athletic department spokesman Kent Brown. The university sells the rest.

So far, about 3,000 tickets have been sold, Brown said. Those who buy tickets through the school receive two seats to a men's basketball game and are entered into a raffle for other prizes.

Illinois' official contingent for the five-day trip is still being completed, Brown said. Players are expected to leave Monday and return after the game. The school has chartered two planes, one for the team and their families and one for staff and their families.