Heisman hypocracy

If there is one thing that we learned definitively in the past week, it’s that Jameis Winston of Florida State cost himself a chance to win his second Heisman Trophy. Well, maybe…

There was a time in my life that I actually thought the Heisman Trophy meant something. In recent years I have learned the truth – that all it means is you were the best hotshot dual-threat quarterback of the year.

The recent train of Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel and Winston have eroded any faith or interest I had in the Heisman Trophy. As far as I’m concerned they might as well just give it back to Reggie Bush. When you can be under investigation for selling your talents to a school or raping someone and still hold up the Heisman Trophy on ESPN, America and college football have problems.

Maybe you want to give Winston the benefit of the doubt that the rape accusations were the false, but since then he has managed to commit theft, which coincidently cost him no football games, and create such an obscene outburst that Florida State finally felt compelled to act by suspending him for the Clemson game, something that should and better train wreck his Heisman chances since off the field issues no longer matter. 

Two years ago, there was a glimmer of hope for me – Colin Klein. There was a player who not only excelled on the field, but also seemed to be a great human being off the field. But of course, there was Manziel to steal the show, and the headlines with his immaturity every few months afterwards

I wish I could understand the thought processes of the voters that keep voting for these players who have tarnished football’s greatest individual trophy, but I can’t and don’t think I ever will. When I can read an article wherein someone calls stealing “a mistake,” I want to scream.

Fortunately, during my time on the sports staff at The Collegian, I have had the privilege of meeting some student athletes who have greatly impressed me not only during games, but with their humility and attitude when they aren’t playing. If it weren’t for my experiences with these athletes, I think I would have lost all hope for college athletics by now.

How do we root out this rampant behavior when we as a whole ignore, condone or approve of it? Cases such as these that have haunted three of the past four Heisman winners should not perhaps cost them their careers and futures, but shouldn’t there at least be some cost to teach them better?

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Maybe the law cannot prove the fire, but if the voters care about what the Heisman Trophy truly stands for then they need to stand up and cross every name surrounded by smoke off their ballots and honor the player who does things the right way on and off the field, regardless of whether or not they have the most impressive stat line as a dual-threat quarterback.

Props to Florida State for finally taking an action that could have cost them a game, but that suspension needs to be the start of sterner discipline and Heisman voters who look off the field as much as they do on it.