Yesterday, rumors swirled that the Heisman Trophy Trust would strip NFL star Reggie Bush of his award which he won in 2005. The Trust’s spokesperson Tim Henning has since told USA Today that the committee “has not made any decision yet.”
Still, five years ago Reggie was a young phenom going into his second BCS title game in as many seasons. He had amazing talent and was clearly bound for the NFL. He was drawing comparisons to some of the best running backs the NCAA had ever seen, but evidently he wasn’t allowed to leverage this talent to get anything more than books, room and board.
As it turns out, along the way, he took money, gifts, a car, a house for his family, Ray J’s sloppy seconds (Kim Kardashian… ) and other gifts from agents and boosters. In order to “punish” him, and his school (USC) for allowing this, the NCAA has sanctioned the university and made them forfeit the seasons he played (how this works I have NO idea), and they are barred from bowl play for the next three seasons.
The thing about it is, you can’t legislate people’s memory. I remember every game I watched Reggie play. I even remember that ugly ass suit he wore to the Heisman ceremony.
Are they saying that in the 75 year history of the Heisman there has never been a player that took a gift from a booster? How stupid does the sports committee really think we are? Show me a player in Division I sports and I will show you someone who has been offered (and likely took) more than the standard fare.
My question is why Reggie Bush is the one taking the rap for the misdeeds of so many others? Nobody said a word to Pete Carroll as he turned tail and went to Seattle rather than coach under sanction. I haven’t heard of one booster being disciplined for offering up money, cars and daughters for the players’ use.
Since nobody is “technically” allowed to make money from amateur sports, why isn’t USC being forced to give back all the revenue they generated selling jerseys with Bush’s name and number on the back? Oh, wait. Nevermind… that’s different.
Either way, the NCAA and the Heisman Trophy Trust can’t legislate my memory, or anyone else’s, and his 2005 season is still one of the best I’ve ever seen. Besides, even if the committee takes the trophy, it just leaves more room on the shelf for his Super Bowl ring.