College Football Players Headline

Winning the Heisman Trophy Does Not Guarantee NFL Success

The following op-ed was submitted by sports agent Eugene T. Lee. Mr. Lee is President/CEO – ETL Associates, Inc. and may found on Twitter – @EugeneTLee.

With the Heisman Trophy being awarded this weekend, another college football season slowly comes to a close. The Heisman Trophy with a perpetual base, awarded to the best college football player in a given season, has always received a great deal of fanfare, but has the “professional” significance of this award lost some of its luster?

Allow me to explain; all you need to do is take a look at the list of Heisman Trophy winners over the past 25 years. With all due respect, you have a lot more Jason Whites and Ron Daynes than you do Charles Woodsons and Barry Sanders. Players who win this prestigious award, as evidenced over the past 25 years, are rarely great NFL players, let alone future Hall of Famers.

With the Heisman comes more than recognition and honor. Often overlooked is that with the trophy comes high expectations. More often than not, Heisman award winners are drafted relatively high in the first round of the NFL Draft. If successful in the NFL, few notice. Heisman award winners are expected to perform and perform well. On the other hand, if a Heisman award winner fails to live up to expectations at the next level, which seems to happen with regularity these days, he is wrongly labeled a “bust.” The reality is that the Heisman Trophy rewards superior collegiate performance on the field and does not reward or predict success on the professional level.

Don’t get me wrong, the Heisman Trophy is a wonderful and prestigious award, but it has never been, nor will ever be, an accurate barometer for forecasting future NFL success. That being said, if one day my son is fortunate enough to be a Heisman finalist, I would be pulling very hard for him to win this historic award.

I wish the five finalists the best of luck and continued success as they embark upon their professional careers in the National Football League.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

One reply on “Winning the Heisman Trophy Does Not Guarantee NFL Success”

Comments are closed.