Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Can IU's Chappell Match Kirlew?
So what’s up with Ben Chappell? Does he rescue cats stuck in trees on the side? Help little old ladies cross the street?
Suddenly, everywhere you see a distinguished list of award candidates, you’ll find the Indiana quarterback.
The newest honor for this senior is the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. AFCA, by the way, stands for American Football Coaches Association. The honor is for athletes who give back and volunteer, who are heavily involved in community service, who make an impact beyond their sport and who represent the “best of the best” among more than 50,000 student athletes at four-year colleges.
This year 112 student-athletes have been nominated, the most in the 19 years of this award. The previous record was last year’s 106.
Chappell is one of them. In fact, he’s the third straight Hoosier to be nominated, joining kicker Austin (remember how his field goal beat Purdue?) Starr and Jammie Kirlew.
Kirlew made last year’s 11-player team. He's the only Hoosier to do so.
Nominees did things like support the Haitian relief effort, work with rural and minority students to get to medical school, organize campus fundraisers for pediatric cancer research.
The award spokesperson is former Notre Dame football coach and ESPN broadcaster Lou Holtz.
The voting panel includes Holtz, Pat Forde from ESPN.com, Tom O’Toole from USA Today, former Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry and Allstate vice president Guy Hill.
Chappell earlier made the list of candidates up for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is more of a football achievement than just being a great person.
All this is great, but if Chappell throws for five touchdowns and 25 interceptions this season, well, nobody will care what award he’s up for. It’s all about production and Chappell, as accurate a thrower as IU has ever had, will get plenty of opportunities to produce.
And if he saves a cat and kisses few babies along the way, all the better.