Yesterday I was online checking out Syracuse Orange news and came across this tweet from Syracuse.com’s Nate Mink.
I went with SU's Justyn Knight, and FSU softball's Jessie Warren, who, as the ACC HR queen, led FSU to its first natty. https://t.co/0YS1rmsg0p— Nate Mink (@MinkNate) July 5, 2018
This was the first time I heard about an ACC Athlete of the Year award which was voted on by conference media members and my immediate response was that Justyn Knight got robbed. Now I’ve got no argument with Notre Dame Fighting Irish star Arike Ogunbowale winning for the women. Beating UConn with a buzzer beater in the Final Four is impressive stuff, and then when you follow it up with another game-winner to take home the National title and you deserve all the accolades.
Let’s be clear, Louisville Cardinals fans. I’ve got plenty of respect for Lamar Jackson and what he accomplished in his career. HOWEVER, last season Louisville went 4-4 in the ACC while Justyn won four ACC titles and two National Championships.
It’s nice that Lamar led the ACC in rushing and set records in terms of passing and rushing yards by a QB, but team success should be as important as the individual accolades. I’m not here for your “Well it’s not fair that Lamar only competes in one season” because if we stick to Fall, then it’s still one ACC title and one NCAA title for Justyn compared to zero for Lamar. Those, my friends, are #Facts.
Worst of all in this mess of a vote is that Justyn wasn’t even top 3. Here’s that crazy bit of news from the ACC press release.
“A first-round NFL Draft choice by the Baltimore Ravens, Jackson was named on 19 McKevlin Award ballots. He prevailed in a tight vote over Georgia Tech baseball catcher Joey Bart (18) and NC State football defensive end Bradley Chubb (17).”
I went and looked up Joey Bart’s stats and he did lead the ACC in batting average with a robust .359 average, but the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets finished 14-16 in ACC play this year. How does that warrant ACC Athlete of the Year consideration? Bradley Chubb was the 5th overall pick by the Denver Broncos, but his N.C. State Wolfpack didn’t play for an ACC title last Fall. I’d understand votes going to other ACC Champions, but you’re telling me that the media members put these three non-ACC winning athletes at the top of their ballots.
Shameful. Thankfully the Syracuse media members represented (as did some non-Syracuse media too). Don’t worry, Justyn. You’re the People’s Athlete of the Year