Let’s be clear: The Jameis Winston controversy shouldn’t be defined by whether or not he is honored as the winner of the 2013 Heisman Trophy.

Lives are at stake here. His. And the accuser’s.

The results of the pending sexual assault investigation will be life-changers for both involved. And despite all the rumors, innuendos and yada-yada on the Internet, I doubt anyone has a clear picture of what happened the night of the alleged incident.

The best we can hope for is justice, however that plays out.

PHOTOS: Tortuga Music Festival

But there is this reality too:

Winston could be deemed an innocent man and be denied the Heisman because voters will be reluctant to put his name on the ballot if the state attorney’s office does not make a decision on whether or not to press charges by the Dec. 9 Heisman voting deadline.

By the same token, Winston could end up facing charges, be convicted of the crime, and still strike a Heisman pose, regardless of the timeline.

I was hoping I was going to be shortening the timeline, but that doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, so I don’t really have anything more to add,” chief assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday afternoon. “ I do think it’s going to be hopefully by the end of this week, possibly into next,” 

If a decision isn’t made, it certainly mucks up the waters for the Heisman Trophy.

It’s one of those Hobson’s Choice deal for Heisman voters, including me.

In my eyes, Winston is clearly worthy of the Heisman Trophy. He is the best player in college football, with apologies to all offensive linemen who never get a nod.

But he is also the only guy on the ballot who could be facing sexual assault charges. And anyone who says that the Heisman voting should be based strictly on “what happens on the field” is delusional.

Character should come into play, especially when dealing with an issue of this magnitude.

I am not cheering for Winston to be charged with sexual assault. I am not cheering for Winston to be cleared of charges. I am only cheering the right resolution, however that plays out.

And some clarity before Dec. 9.

George Diaz can be reached at gdiaz@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @georgediaz