NEW YORK: PR pros are wasting thousands of hours promoting their candidates for the Heisman Trophy, according to University of Texas sports information director John Bianco.
In Ricky Williams, the UT team boasts the likely winner of the trophy, given annually to the best player in college football. But Bianco said a great deal of time and money is spent on Heisman campaigns, despite the fact the result is seen as a foregone conclusion.
'I'm in a pretty good position, because our guy (Williams) has been the best player on the field,' he explained. 'But if he weren't the best candidate for the award, I'd probably be going through the motions just like everybody else.'
Going through the motions, according to Bianco, often means establishing a web site to tout the player's accomplishments and attempting to generate media coverage from national outlets like ESPN.
Kansas State sports information director Kent Brown, currently touting quarterback Michael Bishop, conceded Williams will likely win the award and decided not to run a full-blown campaign. 'It doesn't sway voters and it's usually a waste of money,' he said.
Of course, this hasn't deterred university PR departments from trying new ways of reaching voters. The University of Central Florida, home of underdog candidate Daunte Culpepper, has sent weekly e-mail updates, while University of Kentucky sports information director Tony Neely has set up a video e-mail service to tout QB Tim Couch.
'All you can do is hope the player keeps making plays,' said UCLA media information director Mark Dellins.