CT Post – It’s called “The Most Prestigious Award in College Football.” On its website, the Heisman Trophy mission statement is this: “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.”
The key word in that statement is “integrity.” As a voting member for the Heisman Trophy, last week I stood in the middle of a crossroad. Do I vote solely by the numbers for the player that is far and away having the best college football season? Or do I look at that “integrity” factor and cast my ballot for someone else?
Florida State’s freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has established himself as the front-runner to win the Heisman this season, based on his 3,490 passing yards, his 35 touchdown passes and his 68.8 completion percentage (218 for 317). You can also throw in the fact that the Seminoles (12-0) were undefeated heading into Saturday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Duke.
But last month, Winston was accused of sexual battery in connection with an alleged assault against Patricia Carroll in a Tallahassee, Fla., apartment back on Dec. 7, 2012, according to a police report. However, the case did not reach prosecutors until last month because police reportedly told Carroll that Tallahassee “was a big football town” and that her life “would be miserable” if she pressed charges. Winston’s lawyer acknowledges that Winston did have sex with Carroll but says that it was consensual.
With the deadline for the Heisman ballot looming (it’s Monday) and unsure if or when any action on Winston’s case might take place, I decided to go with the “integrity” aspect and voted on Wednesday for Boston College senior running back Andre Williams. I know that he got hurt last week against Syracuse, but the fact that he’s rushed for 2,102 yards and 17 touchdowns this season is simply remarkable. Yes, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron (2,676 yards, 26 touchdowns) and last year’s winner, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns), have better numbers, but going from 584 yards rushing and a 2-10 record last season to 7-5 this season, over 2,000 yards rushing and getting his team to a bowl appearance deserves serious consideration.
Williams rushed for over 200 yards five times this season: 204 versus Wake Forest, 263 against Army, 295 against New Mexico State, 339 against North Carolina State and 263 against Maryland. He will certainly add to those totals in BC’s next game — head coach Steve Addazio said the other day that Williams would be “ready to roll” when the Eagles play in their bowl game.
Although he did not have rape charges leveled against him (the case was closed on Thursday), it seems to me that Winston, 19, showed little or no “integrity” in having sex with his now accuser. College athletes aren’t just role models, they’re often singled out and even preyed upon. And Winston should have known that something like this might come back to haunt him, which it has, big-time. Even though he’s innocent, the dark cloud of the incident will likely never go away.
Pretty sure something in my brain broke reading that last paragraph. Seriously help me out with the reasoning here because maybe I’m misreading. Winston did not have any charges leveled against him (because there was no evidence whatsoever that he committed any type of crime)….but he showed no integrity for having sex with a girl because college athletes are role models and often preyed upon which Winston should have known? So to paraphrase, Jameis Winston, a 19 year old college kid, shouldn’t have sex with anyone because of the possibility they may some day in the future accuse him of something? That’s the gist? Got it. Every Heisman winner ever was celibate or at the very least abstinent. Sucks nobody let Jameis know that earlier so he could plan accordingly.
I especially like the “even though he’s innocent” part. Newsflash, it’s not “even though” he’s innocent, he fucking is innocent. That’s what it means when lawyers and prosecutors don’t press any charges and the the case is dropped due to lack of evidence. That’s what matters. Not an imaginary black cloud that exists because you don’t understand the legal system or life below the age of 60.