Reggie Bush's parting gift to USC, following two national championships five years ago, will likely result in limited sanctions for his questionable behavior
It is highly likely that USC's parting gift to him, however, was a successful NFL career, and a fat paycheck during his junior year.
Well, that didn't actually come from USC, but it is certainly going to be discussed in what has been described as the NCAA's "lengthy" report on USC's football program.
Before jumping into the analysis of what this means for USC, we should have definitive answers in a few days, I must point out the incredible hypocrisy of the NCAA.
Reggie Bush was likely given money while he was a student athlete. I have little doubt that issue will be discussed in the report.
However, Bush's heroic feats on the football field brought in enough money for the NCAA to hire people who investigate frivolous things like rule violations.
Bush's play gave the NCAA the money needed to investigate him, yet it is wrong for Bush to get paid?
Give me a break.
The NCAA brought us the BCS and an inexplicably anti-capitalist moral compass. I guess everyone can't be an athlete and a thinker at the same time.
While I think the NCAA's rules are trapped in the nineteenth century, nothing in their report will be catastrophic for USC.
In fact, during an interview this week, Pete Carroll went as far as saying he would be "surprised" by any punishment against the university.
My reasoning on the issue is pretty simple. If the case were cut-and-dry, the report would be short. USC would be either guilty or not guilty.
The lengthiness of the report likely means that there were gray areas in the investigation, and USC shouldn't get hit with either extreme. I expect some sanctions, but none of them should be major.
The Reggie Bush issue will highlight the report. The paper will also like discuss a kicking consult Pete Carroll hired. Former USC standout Joe McKnight will also likely be mentioned and Brian Cushing could make a surprise appearance (he is a shocking, beast of a human being in person; I have no idea how anyone gets that big without using something).
It would, however, be hard to relate Cushing's recent Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, and his four game suspension, to anything that happened at USC.
While those involved on the NCAA's side have said the issues were extremely complicated, I think USC's greatest defense is pretty easy to understand:
USC football controls the country's second largest media market, and brings in more for the NCAA than Reggie Bush could have ever been paid by private parties.
USC is the college football equivalent of a financial institution that is "too big to fail."
Maybe the NCAA found enough to institute a post-season ban on USC, but would it be worth it?
Nothing major should come from Big Brother. He knows who pays the bills.
Besides, USC's punishment is already a humiliating pre-season ranking outside of the top-ten.
What more could the anti-Troy crowd really ask for?
It's not like Reggie getting paid made those championship teams undeserving. The circumstances had no affect on the quality of USC football during his junior year.