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NCAA Football: Baker Mayfield's Heisman hopes should be dashed

Baker Mayfield is clearly the top college football player in America. But his Heisman Trophy hopes should be dashed after his recent antics.

Feature 20 Nov 2017, 15:06 IST

Oklahoma v Kansas
Baker Mayfield

The Heisman Memorial Trophy is the most prestigious award in American college football. It is defined as the award that goes "to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity."

Per current polls, Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield, 22, is the #1 candidate to win the award. In fact, I had him as the #1 candidate by a mile in my recent top 5 Heisman candidates article.

Why? Because he leads the nation with a 70.8% completion percentage, an average 11.6 passing yards per attempt and a 199.3 passer efficiency rating, and he sits second in the country in passing yards with 3,816. His 34 passing touchdowns are also tied for second in the country, and he is somewhat of a decent running quarterback with 240 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns as well.

That covers the performance aspect of winning the Heisman Trophy. But the pursuit of excellence with integrity aspect is something that Mayfield has always lacked, and he doesn't appear to be making any effort whatsoever to change that.

Back in February, the then-21-year-old was arrested and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing, and when confronted by an officer, caused a scene by hurling profanities. When he was arrested, he had the audacity to ask what he had done wrong.

The good news is that he has managed to stay out of legal trouble since then, and that encounter with the police did not seem to affect him in any negative way on the football field. The bad news is the fact that his immature antics are still on display, and there is absolutely no sign of him pursuing excellence with integrity in order to cut them out.

In this past weekend's game against the one-win Kansas Jayhawks, Mayfield made a completely uncalled for obscene gesture toward the Kansas sideline after trash-talking the team's fans earlier in the game and telling them to "stick to basketball". It was clear that the Jayhawks had a prior beef with the quarterback, as they refused to shake his hand during the coin toss as well, which goes to show that it is common knowledge that integrity is something he lacks.

The bottom line is the fact that the Heisman Trophy doesn't, or at least isn't supposed to, go to a player simply because they are the best on the collegiate level in the United States. Character is meant to be a factor. So if Mayfield does end up getting enough votes to win the Heisman Trophy award, then the award and the prestige it has had over the years will be history -- totally gone as we know it.

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