Ratings Plunge for Presentation of Controversy-Plagued Heisman Award SportsNewser

Judging by the dismal ratings for ESPN's broadcast of the 2010 Heisman Trophy presentation, most people either didn't care or didn’t want to watch Auburn's Cam Newton, the odds-on favorite to win, receive the honor, according to

The ratings for last Saturday’s broadcast were the lowest in four years. The question remains, did viewers stay away because Newton, who has been playing under a cloud of controversy, was expected to win the prize, or is there diminishing interest in the college award in general?

This year's broadcast was ESPN’s lowest-rated Heisman Trophy telecast since 2006, drawing just 3.784 million viewers--down 37% from last year.

The Heisman recently received negative publicity when former USC player Reggie Bush, who won the award in 2005, was retroactively stripped of his eligibility and returned his trophy.

Newton has been in the news not just for his play on the field, but also because it has been alleged that his father solicited compensation to have his son pick a particular college--an allegation that is reportedly under investigation.