- Adam Glanzman/Daily
By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published March 12, 2013
Two late additions to the list of people Denard Robinson has outrun in his time at Michigan: Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope and a hoard of ballot stuffers.
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EA Sports announced Tuesday that the former Michigan quarterback won its fan vote to determine who will grace the cover of the NCAA Football ’14 video game next fall. Robinson defeated Swope in a close and surprisingly eventful online vote that would make the state of Florida proud.
“It’s such a blessing,” said Robinson in a release. “I've been playing this video game since I was a little kid, and it’s a dream come true. I can’t thank the fans enough for their votes.”
Robinson took a personal role in the campaign, urging fans to vote through social media, atypical for him. As part of the University Athletic Department’s push to put Robinson on the cover, Robinson fielded questions directly from fans on Twitter Friday.
Still by Saturday, the final day of voting, the race remained too close to call. And allegations of voter fraud — yes, voter fraud in a Facebook vote — further muddied the picture. The vote had been ongoing since mid December, but less than two weeks before voting ended, a Texas A&M message board (later deleted) surfaced urging Aggies to create fake Facebook pages to stuff the ballots. EA Sports was forced to issue a public statement explaining its response to the potential inequities.
Ultimately, Robinson proved as elusive in the polls as he is on the field.
“It’s hard to put into words what all of their support means to me,” Robinson said of the fans’ support. “It was an honor to wear the maize and blue for four years, and it will be an honor to represent Michigan and the fans on the cover of NCAA ‘14. I'm so glad that winged helmet is on there.”