I get it.
Cam Newton is incredible. At 6'6" and 250lbs., this explosive quarterback is putting up crazy offensive numbers that are unbelievable. He's carrying his team to the title game and has set the best records the SEC has ever seen. He's an amazing football player and my guess, this is just the beginning for Cam Newton. He'll go on to the NFL, make millions of dollars and perhaps win an MVP along the way. But does he deserve the Heisman?
The Heisman mission statement is clear, "The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity." Cam Newton certainly qualifies for the first half of being an outstanding college football player, but has he pursued excellence with integrity? What is integrity for a college football player anyway? What is integrity for any of us?
Just taking a quick glimpse in the dictionary, integrity is defined as "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty."
Do you think voters can really sit back and argue for Cam Newton's integrity? Even if they completely overlook the possibility that he was a "paid to play" student athlete, can they overlook his indiscretions at the University of Florida? Let me remind you, Newton left Florida after being in possession of a stolen laptop he threw out the window when police arrived.
If that's not bad enough, Newton was reportedly facing expulsion from the university after being caught cheating three times, including putting his name on a someone else's paper without that student's knowledge. Yes, Cam Newton is an outstanding football player, but he doesn't pursue excellence with integrity. He pursues excellence with entitlement.
Of course if voters are going to exclude Cam Newton then LaMichael James needs to be excluded as well. Earlier this year James was arrested on five misdemeanor charges: one count of strangulation, two counts of assault in the fourth degree and two charges of physical harassment after a getting into a fight that clearly turned physical with his girlfriend. Really? This guy is on the ballot? Since when are honors given to domestic abusers?
This is outrageous and as a woman I can tell you this is unacceptable. Chris Brown's singles were dropped from nearly every radio station in the country after beating up Rihanna and now voters are considering giving a trophy to LaMichael James? Are you kidding me?
If you want to give objective awards to players titled, "Most Rushing Yards" or even "Best Quarterback", then by all means, hand them over to guys like Newton and James. It's clear, if you finish the race first you get the blue ribbon, no dispute, but the Heisman is a subjective honor. Not only that, the mission statement doesn't even say "the MOST outstanding college football player."
It clearly states it would like the award to be granted to an outstanding player who pursues excellence with integrity. There are many outstanding college football players who don't get caught up in criminal activity off the field; guys who truly are excellent athletes full of integrity. Voters got it right with Tim Tebow and Mark Ingram, can they get it right this year by NOT giving this honor to guys like Newton and James? These players don't deserve the Heisman. NFL contracts and impressive football records, sure. Heisman honors, no.