It has begun, officially, with DeAngelo Williams of Memphis.
The school is spending $30,000 on a Heisman campaign for the running back, who had over 1,900 yards rushing last season.
The best gimmick is the NASCAR model racer. Nice touch.
Unfortunately, the only way Williams could even come close to the award is by surpassing Barry Sanders’ single-season rushing record. So, while it’s a nice gesture to support its student athlete, Memphis has basically thrown $30,000 down the drain.
Bruce Feldman of ESPN has a good commentary on Williams’ campaign here. You’ll need a password to read it.
For those who don’t have a password, here’s a snippet:
I do like the idea (props to SID Jen Rodriguez) and I think Williams is fantastic, but I really think this type of thing teeters on the brink of trouble. Schools already make money selling players’ jerseys all over town. This will feed into the bobblehead/beanie baby/whatever-junk-collectors-are-falling-all-over-each-other-to-get craze. What’s next? A scarlet and gray rocket with Ted Ginn’s picture on it or a Devin Hester-wind-up car? Whatever it is, you’ll probably find it on Ebay pretty soon. OK, rant over … I can see this downshifting into the whole should-college-kids-get-paid thing.
Personally, I think a Ted Ginn rocket would be pretty cool.