Heismanpundit.com announced the 2011 Heisman Trophy Watch List. The website claims the “prestigious list gives football fans the first glimpse at a great crop of Heisman contenders for the coming season. Heismanpundit.com will consider other players for the 2011 Heisman Trophy Watch List and will also delete players as the season progresses.” The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious award in sports and is provided annually to a college football student-athlete.
The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm advises clients to proactively monitor high-profile athletes to ensure compliance with NCAA legislation and committee on infractions’ decisions. The release of the Heisman Trophy Watch List is one of several means a college or university can identify high-profile athletes. The Buckner Law Firm defines a high-profile (or “blue-chip”) student-athlete as an individual who is: a “one and done” basketball student-athlete; an athlete who generates significant attention from professional scouts, athlete agents, runners, sports marketers and/or professional teams; a student-athlete who is projected to be a finalist for, or has already earned, a major national athletics award (e.g., Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, Naismith College Player of the Year); a student-athlete who is projected to be selected in a low round of a professional sports league draft (e.g., Rounds 1-2 of the NBA Draft, Rounds 1-3 of the NFL Draft); and/or an athlete with an academic and/or athletics history that cannot be verified through a cursory evaluation (e.g., international prospects). Compliance officers, general counsel and higher education professionals should identify, as well as develop solutions to minimize legal and rules-compliance challenges concerning, high-profile student-athletes.