Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Turnover!

If you asked me, Reggie Bush shouldn't have surrendered the Heisman Trophy he won in 2005 when he recognized as college football's best player.

But today the former USC great (full disclosure: I am a USC graduate) did just that -- returning the trophy following a lengthy NCAA investigation that put Bush at the center of an athletic program lacking proper oversight, identified boosters who seemingly ran amok around USC athletes and has caused USC to receive stiff sanctions for its football and men's basketball programs.

To some extent, Bush's trophy -- and remember USC removed its copy of Bush's award from its Heritage Hall athletic facility -- is the last remnant of a period in which the Trojans dominated college football and began to build a nationally recognized men's basketball program. The former football coach is gone; he quit and ran to the NFL. The former men's coach is gone; he quit and remained in the shadows for a couple of years. And the former athletic director was tossed overboard as part of a house cleaning.

So, why do I think Bush ought to keep the award? Plain and simple -- there is no after-the-fact morality or legality clause associated with the Heisman Trophy. Never has been. Hopefully never will be. End of story.

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