POSTED: Wednesday September 8th 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Tale of Lies, Greed, and Bush
Everyone who’s anyone knows that running back Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. News that the NCAA may strip Bush of the award by the end of September is, at least superficially, of the inconsequential variety.
Everyone who’s anyone knows that running back Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. He knows it. Every one of his New Orleans Saints teammates, fresh off their Super Bowl victory last year, knows it. John Madden, despite being in his not-so-lucid mid-70s, knows it. So, news that the NCAA may strip Bush of the award by the end of September is, at least superficially, of the inconsequential variety.
What comprise actual consequences, mind you, are those suffered by Bush’s alma mater, the University of Southern California in the backlash of it being let out that Bush and his family were on the illegal receiving end of various gifts and benefits. They allegedly received gifts totalling over $290,000 from sports agent Lloyd Lake. As a result, the school was stripped of the Football Writers Association of America Grantland Rice Award, which recognized the Trojans as 2004 national champion. In addition, it received a two-year ban from the playoffs and the forced forfeiture of wins among other penalties.
Personally, I’m mystified at the one punishment forcing USC to dissociate itself from Bush. One would think that would be the one thing USC would have done on its own accord, based on just how far up the creek without a paddle he steered the school.
I mean, with USC bearing pretty much the full brunt of the NCAA’s wrath, clearly Bush did little wrong. That’s what logic would dictate, anyway. Unfortunately, sports - where superstar athletes are paid millions to play games just six months out of the year - and logic don’t tend to go hand in hand.
In truth, it was Bush, who broke NCAA rules when he accepted the extra benefits from Lake, doled out based on the premise that Bush would ultimately sign with him. Bush is also the one who hung USC out to dry by not paying back Lake when he opted to join his agency (Bush is in the middle of a six-year, $52.5-million contract, just as a by-the-way). And, finally, he is also the one who showed his true colours (apparently not cardinal and gold) when he first lied years ago when rumours first began to surface, saying: “We have nothing to hide”. Apparently “nothing” actually meant “boatloads of cool free stuff that I’m entitled to because I play football well”. Shame on us for not cracking that code.
And all USC is truly guilty of is not paying proper attention to Bush’s personal life, as his high-profile status necessitated. In a perfect world, sure. But, in a perfect world, they wouldn’t have needed to, either. Clearly, USC knew what was going on and didn’t report it, but it was Bush that stuck them in between a rock and a hard place and couldn’t be bothered to pull them out given the chance.
There are no doubt others, but Bush’s aforementioned high-profile status clearly justified the NCAA’s lengthy investigation in order to make an example of the school that helped to launch him into superstardom. It doesn’t come down to Bush paying back one sports agent for “gifts” totalling $290,000. It comes down to Bush’s disloyal self not feeling the need to repay USC that $290,000, which, in all actuality, probably amounts to just a small fraction of what he really owes.
Looking at the small picture, losing the Heisman is peanuts. Bush still has his career, his millions, and let’s not forget the image of a naked Kim Kardashian presumably forever etched in his numb skull. But, on the plus side, Bush does have the distinction of being the first winner to have his trophy vacated. Even convicted felon O.J.
Simpson’s Heisman can’t be taken away from him. Maybe that little bit of knowledge along with that of singlehandedly irreparably damaging a one-time prestigious football program is punishment enough.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @GetRealSports for all your up to the minute sports updates.
# # #
Name: John Waverly
Please refer all questions to the company listed above issuing the press release. SFC will not be able to assist you with any inquiries and disclaims any content in these press releases.