JACKSON, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time in the award’s history, Mississippi football fans will have the opportunity to take part in the voting for the C Spire Conerly Trophy winner, which annually honors the top college football player in the Magnolia state.
C Spire, along with the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (MSHOF), announced today that fan voting will count for 10 percent of the 2013 Conerly Trophy award. A panel of statewide media will account for the remaining 90 percent.
“This gives fans the opportunity to take part in identifying Mississippi’s best college football player,” said Rick Cleveland, executive director of the MSHOF and co-sponsor of the award along with C Spire. “Major League baseball and others have used fan voting for years. We think having fans involved in the process will help create and sustain interest in an award that has become an integral part of the Mississippi football scene.”
The C Spire Conerly Trophy will be awarded Dec. 3 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Among past winners were such prominent future NFL standouts as Deuce McAllister, Eli Manning, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and many others. In 2014, McAllister, the leading rusher and touchdown scorer in Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints history, will be the first C Spire Conerly winner to enter the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
"Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs. We are excited to give them the ability to vote for the C Spire Conerly Trophy,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire.
Each of the 10 four-year football-playing schools in Mississippi will choose its own finalist for the award. Those nominees will be announced on Nov. 25. Fan voting will begin on Nov. 26 at 8 a.m. and conclude on Dec. 2 at 8 a.m.
Just as the media voters do, fans will vote for a first place, second place and third place winner. Fans will be able to vote by Facebook, Twitter and via text messaging. Fans may submit up to three votes per day during the voting period; however, only one entry is allowed per day for each of the social media methods. For entry rules and qualifications on fan voting, go to www.cspire.com/conerly on Nov. 26.
Richmond also announced that C Spire has renewed its partnership with the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame to co-sponsor the C Spire Outstanding Player Awards for another five years. “These popular awards are a great way for C Spire to give back to sports fans, top student athletes and to universities across the state,” he said. “We’re excited about continuing our relationship with the MSHOF, which does a great job with this program and we’re pleased to play a role in its success.” C Spire has sponsored the outstanding player awards program for all major college sports in Mississippi since 1998.
The C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet will be held Dec. 3 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. A 5:30 p.m. reception will be followed by the 6:30 p.m. dinner program. Renowned TV sportscaster Ron Franklin will emcee the event. For ticket availability, call 601.982.8264.
Now in its 18th year, the Conerly Trophy presented by C Spire Wireless is named after the late Charlie Conerly – the only football inductee in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame who was an All-American at a Mississippi university, an NFL rookie of the year and NFL All-Pro member and quarterbacked a team to a world championship.