I talked to a few random Heisman voters to get a feel for how the Jameis Winston situation might affect their vote. I asked them the following question:
If the status quo on Winston remains — meaning the current allegations and info hang over him without resolution — will you be less willing to vote for him or will it make no difference? I’m assuming if he is charged, he will fall off your ballots. Is that a correct assumption?
Here’s what they had to say:
Voter #1: “Correct. I would be less inclined to vote for him (if he is charged). But as it stands right now, I still would. Definitely an unusual and difficult situation for all involved.”
Voter #2: “The allegations have no bearing on his candidacy. Last I checked, there was some obscure clause in the Constitution that proclaimed you are innocent until proven guilty. Same holds if he is charged. He is innocent until proven guilty.”
Voter #3: “The DNA creates enough smoke for me, and if nothing changes I am leaning towards leaving him off my ballot. If he is charged he is off for sure.”
Voter#4: I’m leaning toward not having him on the ballot at this point. If he’s charged then he’ll probably miss the last couple games due to suspension and I think it’d be hard to justify voting for a guy who has been suspended for part of the season.”
So it looks like the issue has taken its toll, though most voters are taking a wait-and-see approach until more information comes out before they make a final decision.