October 6, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Michael Mauti (42) celebrates during the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Was Lombardi Rotary Award's Snub of Michael Mauti Politically Driven?

On Monday, news came out that Michael Mauti had been left off the list of Quarter-finalists for the Lombardi Award- given annually to the nations best linebacker or linemen (offensive OR defensive). Consider me one of the naive people out there who assume people will do the right thing in most cases and not hold pointless, ineffective grudges against the wrong people. That’s why it caught me off guard when I read a comment about the Lombardi Award passing on Michael Mauti being a political decision.

At first, I didn’t give the comment too much thought, but as I thought more about the list and the oddity of Mauti’s exclusion, I started to wonder about the motive myself.

Could it be that the Rotary Club, when deciding their finalists for the Lombardi Award, came to Michael Mauti’s name and gave each other a glance, deciding to pass on him due to the colors that he wears? Due to the horrific acts committed (and not committed) by leaders at Penn State University? Is the club so afraid of having their name mentioned with Penn State that they would purposefully overlook a player who is arguably the best defensive player in the conference and one of the best three or four linebackers in the country?

It’s worth noting that the Rotary club does great work for the American Cancer society as well as raising money for public education and providing services directly to cancer patients. The organization is bigger than football in almost every way. Still, their Lombardi Award is a nationally recognized prize and is coveted by college football players in a very serious manner. It should be treated with such seriousness.

For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.

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