FOOTBALL: Heisman on display in Muncie

Students and athletics officials from Ball State University were within grasp of the most prestigious individual trophy in college football Monday.

The Heisman Trophy was on display for people to touch and take their picture with at three Muncie businesses.

Sponsored by Nissan, the Heisman toured Muncie for a day because of Nissan of Muncie and the car dealership's high custumer satisfaction ratings, Nissan of Muncie office manager Ashli Smith said.

Muncie was one of a few Indiana cities to get a day with the traveling trophy — which is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the nation at the end of the regular season.

"It's the Heisman Trophy," Smith said. "We're very fortunate to have it."

The Heisman was at Nissan of Muncie beginning at 9 a.m. Monday. In addition, Nissan of Muncie partnered with the Ball State athletics department for this event and the trophy made appearances in the afternoon at MCL Cafeteria for coach Stan Parrish's weekly coach's show and in the evening at Applebee's for the "Red and White Radio Show with Coach Parrish." 

Smith said it had a good turnout of people to see the trophy, especially at Applebee's and at the dealership during the afternoon. The partnership with Ball State for this event, she said, also helped increase Nissan of Muncie's visibility throughout the city.  

"By partnering with Ball State, they already have such a great school and athletics program that I think a lot people feel a business that is partnered with Ball State is a good business," Smith said.

The Cardinals have never had a player win the Heisman Trophy. Former Ball State quarterback Nate Davis finished eighth in the Heisman voting last season — the highest a Cardinal has ever finished in the Heisman selection process.

Associate Athletics Director Matt Wolfert, who was in attendance at Applebee's for the Heisman event and Parrish's weekly radio show, said it is a nice privilege for Muncie to be one of the few cities to have the Heisman on display this year. As the athletics department's director for external affairs and community relations, he also said events like this are good for Ball State's relationship with the Muncie community.

"It's an opportunity for us to reach out to the community and see something very special, something very sacred to the college football community," he said. "It gives them an opportunity to be so close to it, be up front, touch it and pose with it."


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