Sam Bradford will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever come through the University of Oklahoma. The 2008 team smashed record after record on it's way to a BCS Title Game largely in part to Bradford's ability as a passer. Bradford ended his Heisman campaign with 4,720 total passing yards to go along with 50 touchdowns and a passer rating of 180.8. The actual Bradford Statue is going to be revealed this Saturday, May 14th (maybe because he wore the #14?) at a fundraiser in Oklahoma City. The cost is going to be a steep $250 but the money will go to the new Sooner Housing Center. A second unveiling will be held this fall when the statue finds its permanent home in Norman at the now infamous Heisman Park. But Oklahoma honoring its former players who brought back the Heisman has stirred up quite a controversy.
As most of you know and have grown accustomed to, The University of Oklahoma has been a trend setter. This is nothing new when it comes to the idea of a "Heisman Park." Oklahoma and David Boren originally come up with the idea years ago that have set a trend into motion around the nation. Erected just to the east of the Gaylord Memorial Stadium sits 4 statues (soon to be five) as a tribute to the past Heisman winners. It is also the prime location because the statues sit in the shadows of the stadium where the players brought glory not only to themselves but also to the University. Other Universities have begun to take this standard and follow suit not only with players but even with coaches. While this seems fitting to most of the OU fans, others have a different opinion. Some go as far to say that the only statue that deserves to be in Heisman Park is the statue of Billy Vessels for the sheer reason that he is the only one not with us any longer. The rest of the OU Heisman statues are of players still alive and well and apparently have no reason to be remembered by the University or it's fans.
More and more of these self-proclaimed "statue Nazis" (ranging from HBO talking heads to the Wall Street Journal newspaper) have been coming out of the wood work to speak out against such "parks." I'm sure most of this can be attributed to the recent Reggie Bush and USC findings as well as the Cam Newton and Auburn series of events since there are plans to give Cam Newton a statue at Auburn. However, one thing these "statue Nazis" forget is that each University has adopted its own guidelines and qualifications for who/what is deserving of a statue. Most simply say that you need to have won the Heisman in order to get a statue in Heisman Park while others go with the need to have won a BCS Championship.
At the end of the day, it is University property and University money and they will do as they please with each regardless of what the media is saying.