OU's Heisman Row Criticized for Being Extravagant

Cat 2010/09/14 19:12:53
Related Topics: Wall Street, President, Job

OU's Heisman Row Criticized for Being Extravagant

Posted: Sep 13, 2010 4:04 PM CDTUpdated: Sep 14, 2010 7:36 AM CDT

Statues of Heisman trophy winners as well as other notable players and coaches line the outside of the stadium at OU.

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Statues of Heisman trophy winners as well as other notable players and coaches line the outside of the stadium at OU.

Heisman winner Billy Sims in immortalized on campus. A statue for Heisman winner Sam Bradford is about a year away.

Enlarge this picture

Heisman winner Billy Sims in immortalized on campus. A statue for Heisman winner Sam Bradford is about a year away.

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- People in Oklahoma love college football and love to celebrate their heroes. At OU they have several statues of the great players, but one national writer thinks that's going too far.

Heisman heroes are statues in stone that are the larger-than-life likenesses of Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims and Jason White. They adorn the east side of Memorial Stadium, and most people seem to like them.

"I think we should honor them," said OU student Courtney Goss. "They do a good job. They bring a lot of money to our university. I mean, people love football."

But not everyone loves the statues. Last Friday in the Wall Street Journal, writer Darren Everson wrote, "If you need any more evidence that college football is in the midst of a new era of blind extravagance and euphoric self-congratulation, all you have to do is start counting statues." And Everson added, "Oklahoma...is becoming statue central."

"Well, we have a lot of history to celebrate, and I think our statues certainly do celebrate our history, but they also beautify our campus just like any other statues on campus would," Senior Associate Athletic Director of Communications Kenny Mossman said.

There are other statues on campus that recognize past presidents, professors, and politicians--not just athletes.

Love them or hate them, more statues are coming; one, of course, for Heisman winner Sam Bradford, and four for legendary coaches Bennie Owen, Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer and Bob Stoops.

"The coaches are part of what, you know, makes our team so successful, so why not honor them, too," OU student Kelly Marose said.

Two statues of coaches will appear later this season. A statue for Sam Bradford is probably at least a year away.

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  • Mrs. V 2010/09/15 02:19:58
    Mrs. V
    People should mind their own business. As not only an Oklahoman and an OU grad, but also a frequent game attender, I like seeing these statues. They aren't hurting anyone and you must admit, the SOONERS have quite a few Heisman Trophy winners.
  • I am me 2010/09/14 20:51:37 (edited)
    I am me
    Oh my gosh! So what! It's not tax payer money... it doesn't come out of tution costs... and as Alumnus that has walked by the statues many times. I really don't care... OU football is one of the many things that keeps that school on map... and the statues are across the street from the football stadium... that building in the background of the bottom picture is one of the male athletes dorms...

    And it is true... there are other statues of past presidents, professors and politicians, as well as Native Americans as they have had a huge influence in Oklahoma... right outside the main library is a statue of Bizzell who was President of the University in the 20's... the main library is also named after him.... besides I would much rather have statues of athletes and coaches as opposed to this:
    bizzell president university 20s main library statues athletes coaches opposed
  • Cat I am me 2010/09/14 21:02:55
    You gotta remember how gay David Boren IS!
  • I am me Cat 2010/09/14 21:21:54
    I am me
    Honestly, that's all speculation and rumor.... :-/ and I don't really believe stuff like that until it comes from the horses mouth if you know what I mean.
  • Cat I am me 2010/09/14 22:46:57
    Why did he leave DC so fast?
  • I am me Cat 2010/09/15 00:20:30
    I am me
    I dunno... maybe he was ready and the opportunity to be President of OU was stronger than him staying in Government. If he is, it doesn't really matter cause he is still a good President and a good professor (yes, he actually teaches... one or two government classes a year)
  • No nonsense NanC...don't BS... 2010/09/14 20:04:30 (edited)
    No nonsense NanC...don't BS me!
    Sports figures in bronze? What a waste of money. Now if there was a statue of 0J, would they demolish it now? I can see why they shouldn't take it away because he
    did his foul acts long after he won the award........unlike the current scandal about the Heisman. The current scandal involves actions taken while he was in college.

    The NCAA has strict regulations about money passing to current players from
    fans of the game, and that should be the case.
  • KB 2010/09/14 19:19:39
    Gotta keep statue artists in business.

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