Heisman Trophy voters, do the right thing. I implore you to make a statement.
Show this prestigious award stands for more than just statistics. Show it stands for integrity. Show it stands for character.
Do not reward Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. The photo here tells you all you need to know.
Do not turn a blind eye to his consistent bad behavior. If you hand him this award, you are saying nothing matters except on-field performance. You are saying petulant and irresponsible actions are no big deal.
More than any other award, the Heisman represents college football. The winner becomes the face of the sport. Is this the person you want as the face of college football?
Mayfield apologized for his latest incident Saturday, the angry crotch grab on the sidelines during a predictably easy 41-3 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks.
Yes, I know the Kansas players refused to shake his hand during the coin toss. I don’t care. It doesn’t excuse Mayfield. Be the bigger man. It was a poor gamesmanship decision by the Jayhawks, but Mayfield has earned his hatred from opponents.
If Saturday was Mayfield’s first incident I would opt to let it go. It wasn’t.
After the 31-16 victory over Ohio State earlier this season, Mayfield did a victory lap with the OU flag and attempted to plant it on the Buckeyes logo at midfield. He apologized for that incident, as well.
Two weeks later in a brief pregame skirmish at Baylor, Mayfield said to the Baylor players: “You forgot who your daddy is. I’m going to have to spank you today.”
OU escaped with a difficult 49-41 victory over a badly outmanned Baylor team.
Again, it isn’t the one taunt. It’s football. Guys say things. But in Mayfield’s case, it’s the repeated childish behavior.
There also is the arrest in Arkansas last February for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
I realize the Heisman isn’t exactly pristine in the players its voters have honored over the last few years, including Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel.
All the more reason to change the landscape now. There are plenty of talented athletes worthy of the award who would make excellent representatives of college football.
And why not seriously consider a top defensive player? That’s a story for another day.
Mayfield deserves praise for what he has overcome in his career – a walk-on at Texas Tech who transferred to OU and made himself one of the best players in the country. He has a chip on his shoulder and some people say his antics are just part of his charm.
Sorry, I’m not buying it. If the Heisman voters hand Mayfield the trophy, the award is dead. It has no meaning. This award has to stand for more than just a star offensive player on a top team.
Make fans feel good about the Heisman again. Knock the dirt off it and make it shine for what’s good about the game on and off the field.
As many of us have heard before, talent is a gift, but character is a choice. Mayfield has talent, but he made his choice long ago.