The mission statement of The Heisman Trophy Trust says the winners of the Heisman Trophy "epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work."
Why doesn't that same standard apply to Heisman voters? Why are some Heisman voters exempt from diligence and hard work?
Fifteen percent of the 870 voters in 2015 cast their votes prior to conference championship games. That means 15 percent of people didn't care what happened in the ACC Championship, Pac-12 Championship or SEC Championship, where Heisman front-runners Deshaun Watson, Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry would play their final game before bowl season. That means 15 percent of voters didn't care about 7.7 percent of each player's season.
To those who voted for Derrick Henry to win, I ask this: Did his 236-yard, two-touchdown game vs. Texas A&M have an impact on your vote. The answer is almost assuredly yes. So if you care about that one game, why don't you care about his final game?
To those who voted for Christian McCaffrey to win, I ask this: Did his 243-yard, four-touchdown game vs. UCLA have an impact on your vote. The answer is almost assuredly yes. So if you care about that one game, why don't you care about his final game?
To those who voted for Deshaun Watson to win, I ask this: Did his 383-yard, five-touchdown game vs. North Carolina State have an impact on your vote. The answer is almost assuredly yes. So if you care about that one game, why don't you care about his final game?
All three players played well in their respective conference championships. Henry had 189 rushing yards and one touchdown in a win over Florida. McCaffrey set a Stanford record with 461 all-purpose yards in a win over USC. And Watson had 420 total yards and five total touchdowns in a win over North Carolina.
While it's possible that few voters, if any, would've changed their vote from Henry to McCaffrey, Watson to Henry or some other variation, it is still an egregious violation of the Heisman Trust's own mission statement to vote for a player without doing their due diligence.
Last year, 16 percent of all voters did the same. They did not exercise diligence — defined as "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken." And this year, undoubtedly, many voters will again vote early.
Those voters are sullying the prestige, honor and integrity of the greatest individual honor in American sports. Their voting privileges should be revoked.