By Adam Duke
On March 15, Charles Williams was declared a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the top player in college hockey. He was the first Griff to ever be named a finalist for the award and was chosen from a pool of 66 players.
The award is given to an athlete that demonstrates skill on the ice as well as strength and character off the ice. Last week, head coach Dave Smith said that Williams embodied everything that a Hobey Baker recipient should embody.
Similar to other college sports awards like the Heisman Trophy, the Hobey Baker’s winner is decided upon based on two factors: a vote by Division I hockey coaches and a fan vote, which counts for one percent of the tally.
The system works. Personally, I find it to be a great system. The fact that fan voting only counts for one percent prevents players from larger schools such as Notre Dame from gaining too great of an advantage on those from smaller schools like Canisius, but it still allows students and fans to show support for their school and their student athletes.
This past week, Williams was eliminated from contention for the Hobey Baker, as the NCAA narrowed the amount of finalists remaining to three.
Now I’m not saying that the fan vote that accounted for one percent of the total result is what caused Williams to be eliminated; the process is much more than that.
What I am saying is that there was not enough talk around the school about one of our own being nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in college sports.
What I am saying is that there was no note on the board outside the C-Block club room, no notice or push anywhere around the school notifying students that Williams was a finalist for the Hobey Baker and that there was an opportunity to vote for him online.
What I am saying is that students received multiple emails from C-Block to vote for Petey during College Court Report’s “Mascot Mayhem” to determine the “top mascot in the NCAA” but not-a-one telling them to vote for Williams for an actual award.
Unless someone were to visit the article on gogriffs.com, or read the hockey article in The Griffin last week, or even have any amount of investment in Canisius athletics, they would not have found out about Williams finishing in the top 10.
The entire scenario makes me question where the priorities of C-Block lie, urging students to vote in a meaningless mascot poll, but not partake in a vote that would show support for a fellow student.