Jameis Winston may not be suspended automatically from the FSU football team if he is charged with a felony in connection with a pending sexual assault inquiry.

The FSU athletic department code of conduct includes a provision allowing for exceptions to the suspension rule.

The Seminoles' athletic policy manual reads: “In the event the student-athlete is charged with a felony, absent extraordinary circumstances as determined by the administration, he/she will not be permitted to represent FSU Athletics in game competition until such time as the charge is resolved and all court, university and athletics department conditions for reinstatement have been met.”

It is unclear what could constitute “extraordinary circumstances as determined by the administration.”

FSU officials have repeatedly declined to speak publicly about the investigation because it is open and active.

In the past, FSU has suspended players when they were charged with felonies. Greg Dent, a promising receiver, was suspended and has not played this season after he was charged with felony second-degree sexual assault during the summer.

One day after Dent was charged with a felony, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher released the following statement: "We are aware of the situation with Greg Dent. He's suspended indefinitely from all team activities as we let the legal process run its course."

Dent was immediately identified by the victim and the case proceeded swiftly, while Winston’s case has followed a different path.

A FSU student reported an assault in December 2012 and identified Winston as the person who attacked her in January, according to a statement released by the family and first obtained by the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.