|Given for||The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.|
Times Square, Manhattan
|Presented by||Downtown Athletic Club (1937–2001)|
Yale Club (2002–2003)
The Heisman Trust (2004–current)
|First award||December 9, 1935 to Jay Berwanger|
|Most recent||Kyler Murray,|
University of Oklahoma
The Heisman Trophy, one of the highest individual awards in American college football, has been awarded 81 times since its creation in 1935, including 79 unique winners and one two-time winner. The trophy is given annually to the most outstanding college football player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and is awarded by the Heisman Trust, successors of the awards from the Downtown Athletic Club at an annual ceremony at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square, Manhattan.
In 1935, the award, then known as the DAC Trophy, was created by New York City's Downtown Athletic Club to recognize the best college football player "east of the Mississippi River". In that inaugural year, the award went to Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago. Berwanger was later drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League but declined to sign for them. He never played professional football for any team, instead choosing to pursue a career in business. In 1936, the club's athletic director, football pioneer John Heisman, died and the trophy was renamed in his honor. Larry Kelley, the second winner of the award, was the first to win it as the "Heisman Trophy". In addition to the name change, the award also became a nationwide achievement. With the new name, players west of the Mississippi became eligible; the first player from the western United States was selected in 1938. Only one player, Ohio State's Archie Griffin, has won the award twice.
On June 10, 2010, following several years of investigation, the NCAA announced that USC running back Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman trophy winner, received gifts from agents while still in college. The university received major sanctions, and there were reports that the Heisman Trophy Trust would strip his award. In September of that year, Bush voluntarily forfeited his title as the 2005 winner. The Heisman Trust decided to leave the award vacated with no new winner to be announced.
Between 1936 and 2001, the award was given at an annual gala ceremony at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. The Downtown Athletic Club's facilities were damaged during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Due to financial difficulties stemming from the damage, the DAC declared bankruptcy in 2002, turning over its building to creditors. Following the club's bankruptcy and the loss of the original Downtown Athletic Club building, the Yale Club of New York City assumed presenting honors in 2002 and 2003. The ceremony was moved to the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 2002, 2003, and 2004 presentations, but since 2005, the event has been held at the venue now known as PlayStation Theater, also in Times Square. The move to the PlayStation Theater allowed the Downtown Athletic Club (and ultimately, the award's successor, The Heisman Trust) to resume full control of the event—the most prominent example of which was the return of the official portraits of past winners—despite the loss of the original presentation hall.
In terms of balloting, the fifty states of the U.S. are split into six regions (Far West, Mid Atlantic, Mid West, North East, South, South West), and six regional representatives are selected to appoint voters in their states. Each region has 145 media votes, for a total of 870 votes. In addition, all previous Heisman winners may vote, and one final vote is counted through public balloting. The Heisman ballots contain a 3-2-1 point system, in which each ballot ranks the voter's top three players and awards them three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote. The points are tabulated, and the player with the highest total of points across all ballots wins the Heisman Trophy.
|*||First overall draft pick in the NFL Draft|
|†||Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame|
|‡||First overall draft pick and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame|
List of Heisman Trophy winners
Trophies won by school
This is a list of the colleges and universities who have had a player win a Heisman trophy: Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame are tied for the most trophies at 7 each (USC's 2005 award having been voluntarily forfeited). Ohio State has the distinction of the only two-time winner, Archie Griffin, leaving their total players to have won the trophy at six. In total, players from 40 different schools have won a Heisman Trophy, while 18 schools have more than one trophy.
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- Jay Berwanger, first winner of the Heisman Trophy, 1914–2002 Julia Morse, University of Chicago News Office. Chicago, Illinois. June 27, 2002. Accessed March 7, 2008.
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- Heisman Trophy Dinner Becomes Feast for the Public The Washington Post. November 7, 2003. Accessed December 14, 2018.
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- Expanded Heisman Trophy Voting Results MSNBC.com. Accessed March 8, 2008.
- "Heisman Trophy Balloting". heisman.com. Archived from the original on 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Chisholm, Kari. "A plea to sportswriters for statistical accuracy". Stiff Arm Trophy. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
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