The fallout from the NCAA probe into the USC football program continued today. New Orleans Saints Running Back Reggie Bush ahs decided to vacate his 2005 Heisman Trophy. It has been determined by the NCAAA that Bush played the 2005 season while he was ineligible to under NCAAA rules. The Heisman is awarded to the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. Since it has essentially been proven that Bush played the college game with no integrity giving the trophy back was absolutely the right thing for him to do.
My first thought when I heard Reggie was giving up his Heisman was one of respect. After reading the comments he made upon vacating the award I am severely disappointed. Reggie refuses to admit hat he did anything wrong and thinks that he has to give up his award because of “persistent media speculation of allegations of misconduct” during his time at USC have under minded the dignity of the Heisman Award.
While that is certainly true, Bush need to look himself in the mirror and admit to himself and the rest of the sporting world that he was the cause of this. He broke the rules, and his school is paying a huge price for it. While Reggie has gone on to million of dollars in NFL salaries and a Super Bowl Ring, he has cost a number of collegiate athletes their shot at glory in a Bowl Game.
He has brought shame onto himself, his school’s program, and the Heisman itself. We in the media had nothing to do with that. He acted in an improper manner, and he should have learned the lesson of Pete Rose, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemons, and countless others. That lesson is to fess up, apologize for any wrong doing and move on. His comments today make it very hard for anyone to move on much less forgive him for his wrong doing.