Seth Emerson informs us todayabout Georgia's promoting (or complete lack thereof) potential Heisman Trophy candidates Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley.
Such an all-out campaign isn't really deemed necessary, says Claude Felton, UGA's associate athletics director for communications.
"Today is a different age than the days of what many remember and what is perceived a as the traditional 'Heisman Campaign,' " Felton said in an e-mail on Thursday. "The most important things in my view are name recognition, being on television, and playing well when you are on TV. Name recognition is not an issue with Aaron, who has been around now four years.
"He's the only QB in SEC history to throw for more than 3,000 yards three consecutive years already. Virtually all our games are on television. Three of our first four games this fall are against teams potentially in the nation's pre-season top ten--Clemson, South Carolina, and LSU. We'll see how things stand at the end of September."
Now, Claude Felton has been doing this a long time. And the man certainly knows his business better than I ever could. But considering the creative, yet inexpensive methods some schools are utilizing, such as twitter and facebook, is letting the players just play enough?
Felton's point of letting the players' production on the field speak for itself is an admirable idea. And as he says, we aren't going to be hurting for name recognition or nationally televised and highly publicized early season games. Huge performances for either Murray, or Gurley, or both, against Clemson and South Carolina could give them a lot of early hype on Heisman watch lists that so many major media outlets put together before the season even starts and then update weekly. I'll also grant them that the campaign for Manziel wasn't started before he began to produce on the field last season, and that worked out well.
But I'll ask you, should Georgia be doing more to promote their stars for individual awards and national honors this season? At a time where Georgia is asking for bake sales to fund long needed Foley Field improvements, and sit on an extremely large cash reserve, are we wrong to wonder just how much of this is a historically miserly athletic department pinching pennies, instead of a deliberate strategy on how Georgia players have the best shot at winning trophies? Or maybe we're just following the modern trend of wanting things to be done naturally, and so when Murray, or Gurley, or both, put up huge games in September, we can market our campaigns as "organically grown"?