On November 8th, Yahoo Sports reported new evidence of an improper financial relationship between former USC star Reggie Bush and a failed sports marketing agency.
According to Yahoo, Lloyd Lake, a partner in New Era Sports & Entertainment, played audio recordings for the NCAA establishing that Bush and his family received cash and benefits during the 2004 and 2005 college football seasons.
Bush won the 2005 Heisman Trophy, beating out then-Texas quarterback Vince Young. But if these latest allegations are proved true, should the Downtown Athletic Club rescind the award?
It's possible that the NCAA could rule Bush retroactively ineligible for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, leaving the DAC between a rock and a hard place. Such a move would also jeopardize USC's wins from those two seasons—including its 2004 National Championship.
Would Young deserve the Heisman in Reggie's stead?
Remember that Young won the 2005 Maxwell Award as college football's Player of the Year, as well as the Davey O'Brien Award as the top college quarterback. He also outperformed Bush and the Trojans in the Rose Bowl to bring the Longhorns a national title.
Most importantly, Young never violated NCAA rules. I may be an Austin resident and a Texas fan—but my primary concern in writing this piece is that honesty and sportsmanship continue to be prized above all else in college football.
College athletes aren't supposed to play for money—they play for love of their sport, and for their schools. As a college sports fan, I believe Reggie Bush failed to play college football as it should be played—and that he should be punished for it.
If nothing else, Bush should at least come clean on the matter. If the allegations are true, then I say Bush should give up the Heisman.
It would be the right thing to do.
I'd like to think that the Downtown Athletic Club wouldn't want to be associated with a former amateur athlete who allegedly received improper financial benefits during the season in which he earned college football's highest individual award.
When the NCAA eventually makes a ruling on this case, I sincerely hope the DAC will respond accordingly.