Gosh I’ve been waiting for this. Bush admitted mistakes and apologized for his actions several years ago and regretted how they had affected the country. Then I read more carefully and it dawned on me I was reading about Reggie Bush returning his Heisman Trophy due to his dealings with agents while still only a mere college football player at USC, rather than George W. Bush seeking atonement for his, oh hell, too many to cite.

       Professional college football players, illogically, are not permitted to engage an agent to represent them until the fiction that they are amateurs ends with their final game while eligible as a collegian or declaring themselves available for the NFL draft, merely the next advanced level of professionalism.

           One of the most laughable, hypocritical annual events which we can anticipate is the press conference, or conferences, during the NCAA men’s basketball tournaments where players are presented to the media and an NCAA representative asks solemnly, “Do you have any questions for the “STUDENT-ATHLETES”? If they were students first they wouldn’t be there. Instead they’d be hangin around the frat house deciding what beer they’d be drinking while watching the ATHLETES playing that night. That they are students at all is, more often than not, a facade maintained so the NCAA permits them to continue to take the floor while the coaches, AD’s and college Presidents can present a prima facia case that their school is not a football or basketball factory. Meanwhile the school’s alumni delude themselves into accepting the party line from the school’s hierarchy so they feel morally superior to those colleges that “cheat” while they run up bowl appearances and NCAA invites. That is especially so when their school is NOT running up the bowl appearances and NCAA invites. Got to appreciate the victories you can claim.

             All this is by way of preface to my basic opinion here. I don’t give a shit. The Heisman Trophy itself  is a meaningless expression of popularity. There is no objective method of determining which college football player out of thousands is the best. Even a statistical analysis of the most notable candidates each year, largely quarterbacks and running backs, lacks validity. The most probable recipients rarely face the same competition under the same conditions. Indeed, some of the “nominees” may pad their numbers against clearly inferior competition, often continuing to play long after the outcome is no longer in doubt.

        The great bulk of players, literally as well as figuratively, that are never considered for the award are lineman or others not at the so-called skill positions. Statistical analysis among them is nigh useless as any measure of quality. And they don’t carry the glamour of the pretty boys. The first time any 357 pound right guard is cited in the same Heisman speculation as the touchdown flinging quarterback will be a convincing sign the Apocalypse is upon us.

             The Heisman is, in essence, a product of a good public relations campaign. Remember “Thiesman as in Heisman” ? Until then Joe Thiesman’s name carried the proper German pronunciation of THEESman. The athletic departments of those universities having tenable candidates churn up their publicity organs to assure that all of the voting panel, press and all, are fully cognizant of their boy’s supremacy over their inferiors elsewhere. The hype that comes from the sports media, particularly the talking heads at ESPN who never promote any view in five hundred words where five thousand will draw more attention is unavoidable. And a number of them are also voters which is not always clear from their candidate boosting.

                The award is for “Outstanding” college football player, not the best, but I doubt most folks, even voters, understand or care about this substle distiction. Even if voters consider character in their decisions, there obviously is no way to quantify this or even, as in Bush’s case, have knowledge of lapses at the time of voting.

                   In the past  character concerns, if any, were less likely to derail a player from consideration since media probing was not as ubiquitous as it has become. Too, several winners escaped character scrutiny due to their status. Winners Glenn Davis, Doc Blanchard, Pete Dawkins of Army and Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach at Navy represented our service academies where, presumably, good character allowed their admission in the first place. (And I have heard nothing in subsequent years to counter that presumption for these individuals, though Staubach did play for the Cowboys).

           Paul Hornung, a winner from Notre Dame, was a well-known carouser during his NFL years and was suspended, along with Alex Karras, for betting on games in the sixties. Whether these proclivities were evident during his college years is a mystery to me. If they were, of course voters ignored them.

            1968 winner O.J. Simpson, whose character was not a concern when he played, much later became embroiled in some sort of controversy that reflected poorly on him. The details elude me at present.  Also a USC product, perhaps in his case one may interpret that as meaning Urban Stalking Cutter.

            But ultimately I don’t give a shit for the mere fact that the Heisman is a part of the corrupt big time time college sports system. I have addressed that more fully in a previous post.   https://umoc193.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=84&action=edit

                If someone from WVU is a viable candidate, I’ll probably get excited like many other fans. I did to some extent recently when Pat White and Steve Slayton received votes. After all I am human. But on those rare occasions when I am completely rational, I just don’t give a shit.

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