Heisman Trophy: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heisman Trophy
Awarded for The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.
Presented by Downtown Athletic Club
Country United States
Location New York City
First awarded December 9, 1935
Currently held by Mark Ingram, Jr.
Official Website http://www.heisman.com/

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (usually known colloquially as the Heisman Trophy or the Heisman), named after the former Brown University and University of Pennsylvania college football player and coach John Heisman, is awarded annually by the Heisman Trophy Trust to the most outstanding player in collegiate football. While it is not the only award honoring the most outstanding player in college football – Walter Camp Award and Maxwell Award are awarded to the "best player" – it is considered the most prestigious and receives the most media attention. It is awarded in early December before the postseason bowl games begin. Only one player has ever won the Heisman twice, Archie Griffin of the Ohio State Buckeyes in 1974 and 1975. Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators, Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners, and Mark Ingram, Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide have won the award as sophomores. Sophomores have won the last three consecutive years.

Winning the Heisman Trophy does not guarantee future success at the NFL level. Only eight winners of the Heisman are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,[1] but four winners have also been named Most Valuable Player in a Super Bowl. Some other winners have gone on to play in other professional sports, including Bo Jackson in baseball and Charlie Ward in basketball.

The trophy itself, designed by sculptor Frank Eliscu, is modeled after Ed Smith, a leading player in 1934 for the now defunct New York University football team.[2] The trophy is made out of cast bronze, is 13.5 inches (34.3 cm) tall and weighs 25 pounds (11.3 kg).[2]



2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford

The prestige in the award stems from several factors. Balloting is open for all football players in all divisions of college football, though winners usually represent Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools. The closest that a player outside of the modern Division I FBS came to winning the Heisman is third place; in both cases, the players involved played for schools in what was at the time Division I-AA, now Division I FCS. The first was Gordie Lockbaum from Holy Cross in 1987, followed by Steve McNair, from Alcorn State in 1994.

Archie Griffin of Ohio State is the only player to receive the award twice, winning it as a junior in 1974 and a senior in 1975.[3] The only colleges with two different players winning the Heisman Trophy in consecutive years are Yale, Army (1945–46), and Southern California (USC). Three different players from USC won the trophy in just four years (2002–05). Only two high schools have produced multiple Heisman trophy winners: Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas (1938 and 1987) and Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California (1964 and 2004).

Of all the schools where Heisman coached, only Auburn University has produced any Heisman winners, with Pat Sullivan in 1971 and again with Bo Jackson in 1985.

The player who received the most votes and won by the widest margin was O. J. Simpson of USC in 1968. The closest margin of votes was in 2009 between Mark Ingram of Alabama and Toby Gerhart of Stanford.

In addition to personal statistics, team achievements play a heavy role in the voting – a typical Heisman winner represents a team that had an outstanding season and was most likely in contention for the national championship or a major conference championship at some point in that season. Although the University of Chicago abandoned football for a long time, and is now a Division III school, and Yale and Princeton are now Division I FCS, all three schools were considered major football programs at the time their players won the award.

The service academies (Army, Navy, and more recently Air Force) have not been considered major football schools for quite some time (though Navy has reemerged as a solidly competitive team in the early 2000s), but were once nationally dominant teams. The decline can primarily be attributed to the rise of the NFL and the difficulty it creates in recruiting high school top prospects at those schools, due to post-graduation service commitments which would delay the start of a player's NFL career. However, Army did have an advantage in the years 1942–1946 because so many college football players, and male college students in general, had left to go into military service during World War II. In addition to fielding excellent teams, Army players won the Heisman Trophies in 1945 and 1946; however, Navy didn't win any during this period. (The Air Force Academy did not exist at the time, graduating its first class in 1959.) The last service academy player to win the award was Roger Staubach (Navy) in 1963.



Most winners of the Heisman have been seniors. No freshman has ever won the award, only three[4] sophomores have (all in the past 3 years), and only a few juniors. Before Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win the award, several came close. Angelo Bertelli, Glenn Davis, Doc Blanchard, Doak Walker, and Herschel Walker all finished in the top three of the Heisman voting as freshmen or sophomores before later winning the award. Clint Castleberry, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Rex Grossman, Larry Fitzgerald, and Adrian Peterson also received top-three placement as freshmen or sophomores, but never won the Heisman. In 2006, Darren McFadden came in second to Troy Smith as a sophomore, and he is the third man to come second twice (Glenn Davis was second in 1944 and 1945 before winning in 1946 and Charlie Justice was second in 1948 and 1949). The first junior to win the award was Doc Blanchard for Army in 1945. In terms of chronological age, the oldest Heisman winner was 28-year-old Chris Weinke of Florida State in 2000; he spent six years in minor league baseball before enrolling at FSU.


The Heisman is usually awarded to a running back or a quarterback; very few players have won the trophy playing at a different position. Two tight ends have won the trophy, Larry Kelley and Leon Hart. Also, Desmond Howard and Tim Brown won as wide receivers. Charles Woodson is the only primarily defensive player to win the award, doing so as a defensive back and occasional wide receiver for Michigan in 1997. No interior lineman on either side of the ball has ever won the award, although the offensive guard Tom Brown of Minnesota and the offensive tackle John Hicks of Ohio State placed second in 1960 and 1973, respectively. The defensive end Hugh Green of the University of Pittsburgh finished second in 1980 and Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska finished fourth in 2009 as a defensive tackle. Also, Kurt Burris, a center for the Oklahoma Sooners football team, was a runner-up for the award in 1954.

Regional bias controversy

A number of critics have expressed concern about the unwritten rules regarding player position and age, as noted above. But over the years, there has been substantial criticism that the Heisman balloting process has ignored West Coast players. From 1981 (Marcus Allen) to 2002 (Carson Palmer), not a single Pacific-10 Conference or other West Coast player won the Heisman Trophy, although two from the Rocky Mountains did, Brigham Young's Ty Detmer in 1990, and Colorado's Rashaan Salaam in 1994. Three Southern California (USC) players have won the trophy in the early years of the 21st century and two won it subsequent to Palmer, but no non-USC player from the West Coast has won since Stanford's Jim Plunkett in 1970, with the closest since then being Toby Gerhart, another Stanford player who was second in the closest finish in Heisman history in 2009.

The West Coast bias discussion usually centers on the idea that East Coast voters see few West Coast games, because of television coverage contracts, time zone differences, or cultural interest. At Heisman-projection Web site StiffArmTrophy.com, commentator Kari Chisholm notes that the Heisman balloting process itself is inherently biased:[5]

For Heisman voting purposes, the nation is divided into six regions—each of which get 145 votes. Put another way, each region gets exactly 16.67 percent of the votes. However, each region does not constitute an even one-sixth of the population. Three regions (Far West, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic) have larger populations than that – and three have less (Northeast, South, and Southwest). In fact, the Far West has the greatest population at 21.1% of the country and the Northeast has the least – 11.9%.

Who are the voters?


John Cappelletti's 1973 Heisman Trophy

Because of damage to the Downtown Athletic Club's facilities following 9/11, the award ceremony was moved to the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. After the DAC declared bankruptcy in 2002, the Yale Club assumed the presenting honors at its facility in 2002 and 2003. The ceremony moved to the Hilton New York for 2004 and has been presented annually at the Nokia Theatre Times Square since 2005.

The 2008 Heisman press conference was held at the Sports Museum of America in lower Manhattan. There was an entire gallery with the museum-attraction dedicated to the Trophy, including the making of the Trophy, the history of the DAC, and information on John Heisman and all of the Trophy's winners. There was also a dedicated area celebrating the most recent winner, and the opportunity for visitors to cast their vote for next winner (with the top vote getter receiving 1 official vote on his behalf). The Sports Museum of America closed permanently in February 2009.


Rashaan Salaam's Heisman Trophy
Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy

The award was first presented in 1935 by the Downtown Athletic Club (DAC) in Manhattan, New York, a privately owned recreation facility near the site of the former World Trade Center. It was first known simply as the DAC Trophy. The first winner, Jay Berwanger, was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles but declined to sign for them. He never played professional football for any team. In 1936, John Heisman died and the trophy was renamed in his honor. Larry Kelley, the second winner of the award was the first man to win it as the "Heisman Trophy."[6]

The first African American player to win the Heisman was Ernie Davis of Syracuse. He too never played a snap in the NFL, as he was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after winning the award, and died in 1963.

In 1966, former Florida player Steve Spurrier relinquished his Heisman trophy to the university president Dr. J. Wayne Reitz so that the award could be shared by Florida students and faculty.[2] The gesture caused Florida's student government to raise funds to purchase a replacement for Spurrier.[2] From that point on, the Downtown Athletic Club has issued two trophies to winners, one to the individual and one to the school.[2]

Several Heisman trophies have been sold over the years. O. J. Simpson's 1968 trophy was sold in February 1999 for $230,000 as part of the settlement of the civil trial in the O. J. Simpson murder case.[2] Yale end Larry Kelley sold his 1936 Heisman in December 1999 for the sum of $328,110 to settle his estate and to provide a bequeathment for his family.[2] Charles White's 1979 trophy first sold for $184,000 and then for nearly $300,000 in December 2006 to help pay back federal income taxes.[2] The current record price for a Heisman belongs to the trophy won by Minnesota halfback Bruce Smith in 1941 at $395,240.[2] Paul Hornung sold his Heisman for $250,000 to endow student scholarships for University of Notre Dame students from his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.[2] Eliscu's original plaster cast sold at Sotheby's for $228,000 in December 2005.[2]

Television coverage

The presentation of the Heisman trophy wasn't broadcast on television until 1977[7]. Before 1977, the presentation of the award wasn't televised as a stand-alone special, but rather as a quick in-game feature. The ceremony usually aired on ABC as a feature at halftime of the last major national telecast (generally a rivalry game) of the college football season. ABC essentially, just showed highlights since the award was handed out as part of an annual weeknight dinner at the Heisman Club. At the time, the event had usually been scheduled for the week following the Army–Navy Game.

On December 8, 1977, CBS (who paid $200,000 for the rights) aired a one hour (at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time) special to celebrate the presentation of the Heisman trophy. Elliot Gould and O. J. Simpson were the co-hosts, with Connie Stevens and Leslie Uggams providing some form of musical entertainment and Robert Klein providing some comic relief.

Since then, a number of companies have provided television coverage of the event:



External links

College football awards
BEST PLAYER awards: Heisman Memorial Trophy (1935) • Maxwell Award (1937) • SN Player of the Year (1942) • Chic Harley Award (1955) •
Walter Camp Award (1967) • AP Player of the Year (1998) • Archie Griffin Award (1999)
Bill Willis Trophy (defensive lineman)
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defenseman)
Chuck Bednarik Award (Defenseman)
Dave Rimington Trophy (Center)
Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker)
Doak Walker Award (Running back)
Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide receiver)
Freshman of the Year
Jack Lambert Trophy (linebacker)
Jack Tatum Trophy (defensive back)
Jim Brown Trophy (running back)
Jim Parker Trophy (offensive lineman)
Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive back)
College Football Performance Awards (Various positions)
John Mackey Award (Tight end)
Johnny Unitas Award (Senior quarterback)
Lombardi Award (Lineman/linebacker)
Lott Trophy (Defenseman)
Lou Groza Award (Placekicker)
Lowe's Senior CLASS Award (Student-athlete)
Manning Award (Quarterback)
Outland Trophy (Interior lineman)
Paul Warfield Trophy (wide receiver)
Quarterback of the Year
Ray Guy Award (Punter)
Sammy Baugh Trophy (Quarterback)
Ted Hendricks Award (Defensive end)
Tight End of the Year
William V. Campbell Trophy (Student-athlete)
Wuerffel Trophy (Humanitarian-athlete)
COACHING: AFCA Coach of the Year (1935) • Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1957) • SN Coach of the Year (1963) • Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1967) •
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (1976) • Woody Hayes Trophy (1977) • Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year (1986) •
George Munger Award (1989) • Home Depot Coach of the Year (1994) • AP Coach of the Year (1998) • Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2006) •
Broyles Assistant Coach of the YearAFCA Assistant Coach of the Year
DIVISION I FCS awards: Walter Payton Award (Div. I FCS offensive player) • Buck Buchanan Award (Div. I FCS defenseman)
Eddie Robinson Award (Div. I FCS coach)
CONFERENCE awards: Big 12 awardsBig East awardsBig Ten awards (MVP) • MAC awardsPac-10 awardsSEC awards
OTHER DIVISIONS / ASSOCIATIONS: Harlon Hill Trophy (Div. II) • Gagliardi Trophy (Div. III) • Melberger Award (Div. III) • Rawlings Award (NAIA)
MOST INSPIRATIONAL individual or team: Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award
HALL OF FAME: College Football Hall of Fame

Simple English

's 1973 Heisman Trophy is part of an exhibit at the Penn State All-Sports Museum located at Beaver Stadium.]] The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (often known simply as the Heisman Trophy or The Heisman), named after the former college football coach John Heisman, is awarded annually by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City to the most outstanding player in collegiate football.

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