Tonight’s the night the night when, once again, the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan bestows the Heisman Trophy on the top collegiate football player in the nation. While each year there is a qualifying refrain, it warrants repeating: This trophy is given to the top offensive skill player. Linemen and most defensive players get no serious consideration.
That qualifier out of the way, I will say in my opinion that makes no difference this year in who should be the winner. Perhaps there are linemen and defensive players who deserved an invite to the banquet in New York, but there is one player who clearly dominated on the field this season.
My votes – if I had any – would fall in the following order for 2o10:
Why Newton? No one controlled a game like him this season. He was an unstoppable force.
I know that there are serious concerns about giving the trophy to Newton because of the semi-proven allegations about improper activities in his recruiting process. But:
- There is no indication that Auburn was involved in any improprieties. Is it possible that Newton’s father suggested it would take $180K for his son to live and play in Starkville? Auburn is another matter altogether. And no one is alledging that Newton actually received anything – no matter how outrageous his father has been in this whole fiasco.
- I realize that there are tender sensibilities, and that the Downtown Athletic Club is likely to be hesitant to give their trophy to someone who may later be proven to have been guilty of some serious NCAA violations – infractions that, if known, would have disqualified the player from even playing this season. It has only been a matter of weeks and months since they took Reggie Bush’s trophy from him for violations similar to what surround Newton. But I would much rather see the best player get the trophy even if it needs to to taken away later if violations are proven, than for the clear best player to be denied the trophy because there is fear that he may be shown guilty some time down the road. If Newton was involved in the cheating, that is wrong. But it seems a bigger injustice to deny him the trophy if in fact he is not guilty.