From Bianchi’s “Open Mike” blog yesterday on the Sentinel’s web site:
I am about to fill out my Heisman Trophy ballot and Cam Newton of Auburn will be nowhere on it.
Hate to say I told you so, but I’ve never been more secure about my decision to leave Cam Newton off my Heisman ballot than I was a few days ago. That’s when the NCAA determined that, yes, Newton’s father Cecil, a preacher in Atlanta, shopped his son in a pay-for-play scheme before Newton signed with Auburn. Do I need to remind everyone of the “integrity” clause in the Heisman’s mission statement? It says, “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”
That’s right, it says the pursuit of excellence with “INTEGRITY.” And, yet, here we have Cam Newton, a player who left the University of Florida amid allegations of academic fraud and after he was found with a stolen laptop computer and threw it out the window when police arrived; a player whose recruitment is being investigated by the NCAA and the FBI; a player whose father Cecil, according to the NCAA, tried to sell his son’s services to the highest bidder (but, um, Cam supposedly knew nothing about it.).
If Newton wins the Heisman, the trophy should be recast in honor of Cam’s dad. The guy on top of trophy shouldn’t have his arm out; he should have his hand out.
According to the USA Today, Bianchi’s act of journalistic protest was also echoed by “Philadelphia-based writer Michael Bradley, Gene Frenette of the Florida Times Union, David Whitley of AOL FanHouse, Kyle Tucker of the Virginian-Pilot and Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph.” You can also listen to Bianchi’s interview with ESPN’s Eric Kuselias here.
As for Punte and myself, we voted for Lobster Dog. He’s our perennial All-Star.