As of today, the University of Southern California has been stripped of their 2005 Orange Bowl championship in which they thrashed the University of Oklahoma.
With this win, the 13-0 Trojans at the time were the back-to-back national champions (including a co-title with LSU the previous year).
The Trojans were back on the map as the beast of the west and there were very few that tried to test them. Now instead, they look ahead to two years of being ineligible for bowl games.
The Associated Press has concluded that the Trojans will retain their national title, but it brings into focus not only problems of the past, but issues that could continue into the future.
We'll keep O.J. Mayo and the rest of the Trojans basketball team out of note for the pure point that USC basketball really has no place in comparison to College Football.
Reggie Bush has been at the forefront of many minds in terms of what did he/didn't do. In the end, it doesn't really matter what he has done in terms of receiving gifts.
This isn't just a matter of whether Bush was given things, rather it involves the motive of power vs. money. There should be no penalty because the NCAA could have done something when it was occurring, but did nothing to stop it.
It is along the lines of the steroids issue in baseball. If the Owners or College Presidents (in this instance) know of issues at hand, but do nothing of it, then what do you expect of the athletes?
The people in power have the ability to decide what is right and wrong, simple as that.
If for example, you want to limit the amount of performance-enhancing drugs that are used in a sport, one should use a thoroughly dense look at all performance enhancers that can be a benefit to one in a sport.
Have a fundamental outset on what the parameters for competing are and stick to them. If someone commits an action that you deem illegal, do something about it.
It is naive to believe that some higher form of authority had no knowledge of the happenings at USC over the past decade...that, along with any other major power in the College Football landscape.
For us to believe that Florida, Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Miami or Georgia did not have similar occurrences is absurd.
These schools are going to do what they need to recruit an athlete; they, however, have been more fortunate about not getting caught.
Reggie Bush unfortunately got himself in a setup like Chris Webber at Michigan, where his illicit actions could come back to haunt him.
Bush was in a sticky situation for any college athlete. Yes, he receives a full ride scholarship to play sports. He also is not allowed to work or make money himself.
If he wants to have other luxuries that many his age would like (car, laptop, etc.) he has to have already had it or be given it as a family present.
Not much to do for a man with little cash and makes a school a bunch of money, but sees none of it in return.
We want to believe sports are the great divider where everything is even and all have a chance at winning. That is not always the case and money drives winning all the way to having way too many bowl games.
A team who goes .500 does not deserve a bowl game for their ability, they are there for the money. The better recruits you can get, the better your team will be.
This in turn, will line you up for a better bowl game and more money coming to your school. It is a pretty basic equation.
Leave it to your own home school to decide. If you could bring in better athletes and therefore get to better bowls that pay your school more without being caught, would you? I think very few heads of Universities are willing to pass on that opportunity each season.
The Auburn Tigers of 2004 led by Jason Campbell never had a chance to be called National Champions even though they played in the rough-and-tumble SEC.
The Tigers also went 13-0 this season like the Trojans. They squeaked out a tough 16-13 win against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl and looked pretty good.
No one can say that the Tigers would beat the Trojans or vice versa, but they should have played. I can't say Auburn would or should be champion, but it would be a perfect example of the need for a National title game.
The lack of a National title game is now even more preposterous then ever. We are at the edge of realignment to newer, larger conferences than ever before as we vacate the once-promising Big 12.
When the idea of a championship has laid in the balance in the past, "tradition" has been the defense by heads of power.
The Presidents have believed in the sanctity of College Football, that a bowl game is a true and tried way of function. With that tradition in mind, how can Nebraska and Colorado be split between the Pac-10 and the Big 10?
How can the rivalries with Oklahoma and Texas also be split off of Nebraska? These are just a few of the many rivalries that are going to be changed by the realignment.
These teams can still play one another out of conference, but how can this compare in any way of the "tradition" established by beating each other up for a conference title?
When does it make sense that a team from the plains like Oklahoma or Texas plays in the Pacific-10? They just don't, and economics will shine its way through it all.
I don't believe suspending USC from bowl games the next two seasons will help College Football as a whole. The same ploy has been used on SMU, Miami, Colorado and Washington.
USC at this point has been the only strong College football team from the western part of the country for the past decade.
With regards to Boise State, there has not been a team on the west that has challenged for a national title. If you destroy a setting for a former national champion, the whole area, not only the school is afflicted.
Colorado and Washington have not truly been back to strength ever since their respective 1990 and 1991 titles. People do not even know what SMU stands for even more after their fall from grace.
Miami has been the one fortunate school to reestablish themselves. USC is the only football for millions in L.A. County and it will be a dark two falls for members of the community.
The Hurricanes meant so much to their community that it was a crashing blow when they lost their bowl eligibility. Miami definitely felt the burn during those times.
Terry Bowden himself led his 1993 Auburn Tigers to undefeated season and they were unable to go to a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions.
Only 11 years later, the Tigers again would be out of a title opportunity while going undefeated, a bitter feeling for many Auburn Tiger fans everywhere.
This all leads back to my main point. It is strictly a purpose of economics and power. The people who committed these violations, should be held accountable.
That being said, when those at the top hold the most power and do not make decisions that bode well for all, we should not be looking at Reggie Bush. The man we should be looking to is Mark Emmert.