Reggie Bush Returns His Heisman Trophy
While I was a bit shocked when I read that Reggie Bush was returning his Heisman Trophy, I was glad to see him begin to take responsibility for his actions. Considering the NCAA had vacated USC’s wins that season, due to Bush’s ineligibility and the Heisman Trophy Trust was going to eventually discuss the situation, it was the right thing for Bush to do. More so since USC had already returned their copy of the Trophy after the NCAA ruling came down. While it is better late than never, it is good that the player is finally realizing what he did was wrong. So far the school has been the one to suffer (though I think deservedly so, because they completely ignored what was going on), now Bush must give up his prized possession.
While I realize Bush supporters will say that taking money didn’t affect what he did on the field, which is what he won his Heisman for. And I agree with that, this isn’t a case where Bush took performance enhancers or had a serious legal issue. But he did take that money, which makes him ineligible, and that is one of the few provisions in the voting standard. And while we are at it, let’s remember it is not like Bush just took lunch money from these agents, or received a small benefit or two. While the exact figure isn’t known, it is thought to be in the high six figures. One of the two agents Bush is reported of taking money from sued Bush for over $300,000 in money and gifts that he gave the Bush family. I mean that kinda money is going to be well more than the NFL league minimum, so it is pretty hard to keep a straight face and say Bush should have retained his “Amateur” status.
What Bush did was wrong, and it took away wins and a National Title from his school and now has taken away his Heisman Trophy. Hopefully this is a lesson to both college football teams and players that the NCAA will be coming down hard on those who take money from agents. While usually it is just the school that gets punished if it isn’t found out until after a player left, but this just shows that the pressure can get to the player as well.