To my sons...I'm sorry. I would like to apologize for multiple reasons and use this forum to bestow a few lessons in life.
First, winning is NOT everything. I know that tonight we were led to believe that regardless of you or your families' actions...as long as you win, all is ignored. The heisman voters told us to win and nothing else matters. It was promoted that rules and regulations are important for average athletes...but for those who excel at their sport and increase revenue and tv ratings...they are merely suggestions. Choose to follow them if you wish...but if they impede in your ability to win, please ignore them and just claim ignorance. Sons, this is not how the real world works...usually there are consequences or repercussions when you blatantly and arrogantly break rules...even if you're successful or you win.
Second, you DON'T need to cheat to win. It's hard to believe, but there is actually something to be said for hard work, studying, and practicing. Superior effort is rewarded with success, and cutting corners ultimately leads to failure. You may witness short term positive outcomes but in the end you will be found out and forever deemed a fraud. We are taught more and more by those with influence in the sports world (athletes, coaches, programs, and media alike) that being the best is all that's important...no matter how you get there. I would argue that if you DO your best, give your all, and leave everything on the field or court while playing within the confines of the rules, you've won...even if you lost.
Third, dishonesty is NOT rewarded. I know, I know...2 of the last 5 heismans have potentially been awarded to dishonest players (one proven...the other still under investigation) but again, this is not how the real world is. I'd be interested to see how the heisman voters make this same argument to their children after disappointingly doing just that...for the second time in five years. Boys, be honest to your parents, leaders, elders, peers, and most importantly to yourselves. At the very least your reward will be a clear conscience and the loyalty and respect of those around you. Though this isn't made of bronze and you can't touch it or store it in a trophy case...there are few better rewards than these.
Fourth, morals, values, and integrity ARE important. They are the substance of your being, what defines you, and how people perceive you. Without them you are the shell of a human being (that no amount of awards can fill) with a purposeless existence. They will guide you in your life's journey but without them you will be merely a shadow of all the negative influences around you. Stand up and use them as a blueprint to build your future and as a weapon to eradicate those close to you that clearly lack them...even if it is someone in your family. Though you see less and less of good examples of those that have these...morals, values, and integrity are important...wear them like a badge with conviction. Do not be swayed.
Finally, be selective in your role models...and athletes aren't always the best choice. Look to your parents first, then your teachers and other community figures that have and will help you become the person you're going to be. The ones that hold with high regard the above mentioned morals, values, and integrity. Take note of what these people mean to you and how they lead and mold you...and then, when it's your turn...be a role model.
Boys, I'm sorry that the heisman voters (and the many other voters of the various organizations that give awards) do not take this privilege more seriously and contemplate entirely the ramifications of what such a simple task might have. Perhaps, if this heisman is eventually exposed and vacated the voters will finally see the importance in the thorough deliberation needed to award such a great honor.