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March 06, 2020

LSU's Joe Burrow ghosts Maxwell Club, will be first award winner in 83 years to skip ceremony

Burrow is set to receive the club's College Player of the Year in Atlantic City on Friday

College Football Awards
Joe-Burrow-Combine_030520_usat Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Joe Burrow made history this past season by becoming the first player from LSU to win the prestigious Maxwell Club College Player of the Year Award.

This weekend, Burrow will continue to make history by being the first player in the 83-year history of the award not to show up for the annual Maxwell Club gala, which takes place this Friday night at the Tropicana Hotel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.

Burrow, the 6-foot-4, 216-pound quarterback who led the Tigers to their first national championship since 2007, was LSU’s first Heisman Trophy winner since Billy Cannon won it in 1958.

He torched the NCAA, SEC and LSU record books in becoming the most decorated player in LSU football history, guiding the Tigers to a 15-0 record. 

He also collected every valuable award there is — the Heisman, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Davey O’Brien Award (National Quarterback of the Year), the Manning Award (National Quarterback of the Year), the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and was also named AP National Player of the Year.

Burrow, who is expected to be the first pick in April’s NFL Draft, threw for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns against 6 interceptions.

Burrows’ representatives told the Maxwell Club on Tuesday that Burrow would not attend.

Two very significant past Maxwell winners even made attempts to reach Burrow about attending to no avail.

Numerous attempts by the Maxwell Football Club, according to a club spokesperson, were made over the past month to contact Burrow. This included LSU, his representation and his parents. Three weeks ago, in a conversation with his parents, a Maxwell spokesperson said that Burrow would attend.

That changed this week. Over the last few days, the club has tried to reach Burrow’s representatives to confirm Burrow would be showing up in Atlantic City this Friday for the annual awards gala and received no reply. 

“It is frustrating. I am frustrated not so much for us, but I am frustrated for our guests who come out to see Joe,” said Maxwell Football Club executive director Mark Wolpert, who’s been a senior administration with the Maxwell Football Club for two decades and associated with the organization since 1994.

“I’m frustrated for our partners, for our host at the event and our associated partners with what we do at the Maxwell Football Club – they’re excited to see Joe Burrow. And rightfully so.

“It’s sad that it has to happen. When you have 14 award winners, a lot of moving parts at the event and you hold your breath that you don’t have bad weather, you don’t have travel difficulties, that you don’t have something unfortunate happen in someone’s life that they can’t join us.

“Those things happen from time to time. I haven’t run across this type of decision making for a winner not to come and I really don’t know a viable explanation other than what we’ve been told.”

A phone request and email request for comment to the William Morris Agency, which represents Burrow, went unanswered. 

NFL MVP Lamar Jackson (Bert Bell Award), NFL Coach of Year John Harbaugh (Greasy Neale Award) and Chase Young (Chuck Bednarik Award) will be attending the event on Friday night at the Tropicana.


Follow Joe on Twitter: @JSantoliquito

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