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Response From The Butkus Award’s Ron Arp On Nate Irving’s Snub

November 26, 2010

Earlier this week, the committee that selects The Butkus Award announced their five finalists. Nate Irving did not make the cut, but UNC’s Bruce Carter did, which sparked some spirited response on the boards here, from PackPride’s Austin Johnson here and over at Frumpzilla here.

I, too, was puzzled as to why Irving was left off the list over Carter, who had a markedly more average season than Irving. So I decided to drop a line to Ron Arp of the Butkus Foundation to see if I could get some clarification on the committee’s thinking. His response (which is nearly verbatim to the one Johnson received) is murky in its logic but does offer a sliver of hope that Irving might receive at least some recognition:

James –

I spoke with the committee chair.  He said the 51 ballots showed that this year’s candidates are extremely close.   Many selectors reported having a difficult time picking their top candidates, especially when several top linebackers had such different styles of play.  They spent a great deal of extra time reviewing game films to make their decision.  Several on the committee specifically noted Carter’s less-traditional finesse-oriented style that is similar to 2004 winner Derrick Johnson, and felt his overall athletic performance and coverage ability merited recognition.  They also noted the talent and achievements of Nate Irving, his tremendous comeback and his recent record-setting performance.  Both are apt to find themselves in the NFL in different defensive schemes.  The selectors are afforded a write-in opportunity, so if they feel someone was missed in selecting the top five, they can write in a nominee in the final balloting.

Hope this helps.

Ron, I wish it helped more than it does. But explaining to me (and to all of us) that Carter’s “less-traditional finesse-oriented style” warranted recognition over Irving’s traditional blow-you-the-eff-up style that has worked so much more effectively this season than Carter’s doesn’t cut it.

The proof is in the pudding, Ron. Irving is the better linebacker by any measure, and by snubbing Irving over Carter, you and your compatriots discredit yourselves and the award you represent.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenkins permalink
    November 28, 2010 1:34 am

    Carter is better.

    • November 28, 2010 11:55 pm

      I don’t mind you trolling if you can justify your comment. Explain how, specifically, Carter out-played Irving this season.

      • TruthBKnown Returns permalink
        November 29, 2010 4:58 pm

        He can’t explain that, because Bruce DIDN’T outplay Irving this year.

        This award already had Bruce penciled-in (inked-in) for the list of five finalists before the first game was even played. Because he clearly didn’t play his way into the list of finalists.

        It’s a bogus award that has lost all credibility.

    • Mike permalink
      December 15, 2010 12:00 am

      Better??…at what?/…cheating??…Smoking weed??..Ok I will give you he’s a better THUG. Good luck with that!!

  2. packbackr04 permalink
    December 1, 2010 12:33 pm

    Iriving named 1st team all american on Scout but cant make finals for Butkus award? Carter didnt even make 2nd team

  3. Gary permalink
    December 29, 2010 4:06 pm

    Are you kidding me? How about Mason Foster? Not even on the Finalist list? The average of all the finalist’s had 54% of the tackles Mason Foster had all year!!! That means on Saturday he was making nearly 2 tackles for every 1 a FINALIST made and was snubbed! Guess neither of these guys were not in a large enough television market huh?

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  1. Nate Irving Named SI.com First-Team All-America « Riddick & Reynolds

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