News broke over the last 24 hours that USC would be surrendering Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy. Bush himself has not handed back his trophy, but rather USC as a program received a trophy that it is giving back to the Heisman committee.
USC forking over Bush's Heisman Trophy is the most recent and publicized case of a player or school handing over its Heisman Trophy. Now, while not all of these following players violated rules or did something illegal that is worthy of a surrender of their Heisman Trophies, we have the luxury of a 20/20 hindsight look at those who very much disappointed after receiving the award.
Salaam had a huge career with the University of Colorado and appeared ready to take that success to the NFL after being selected 21st overall in the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears. Instead he was the start of a string of unsuccessful running backs in Chicago. Salaam did have a 1,000-yard rookie season with the Bears in 1994. However, he rushed for just 610 yards in parts of three seasons after that before disappearing from the league and reappearing in the failed XFL.
Eric Crouch won the 2001 Heisman Trophy and was looking forward to a career at quarterback in the NFL. However, it never happened as Crouch was moved to wide receiver and ultimately safety when he was sent to NFL Europe.
He lasted a few weeks as a fourth-string quarterback in the CFL and was eventually cut from his last shot in the now defunct AAFL. Crouch is one of only a few Heisman Trophy winners never to accumulate statistics in the NFL.
Wuerffel was the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner and arguably the best quarterback to ever fit Steve Spurrier's dynamic offense. He enjoyed one of the most prolific college careers in the 1990s.
However, Wuerffel didn't come close to matching that success at the next level. Wuerffel appeared in 25 games over six seasons with four different teams, accumulating a 12/22 TD/INT ratio and less than 2,500 career yards. He may be best remembered in the NFL for having his helmet wrapped around his head in a moment of on-field comedy.
Owens won the 1969 Heisman Trophy following a very successful college career at Oklahoma. However, as the 19th overall pick in the following draft, Owens never quite lived up to his collegiate abilities in his five seasons with the Detroit Lions.
Owens rushed for 2,451 yards and scored 20 touchdowns before exiting the league at age 27. However, he did make one Pro Bowl appearance in 1971 following his lone 1,000-yard season.
Torretta was a member of the 1989 and 1991 National Championship-winning Miami Hurricanes teams. He was another in a long line of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, but he was the polar opposite when it came to production at the next level.
Torretta spent five seasons in the NFL with five different teams and appeared in just two games, throwing 16 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Torretta is one of the least-productive Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in NFL history, surpassed in futility only by Crouch.
Chris Weinke was the oldest Heisman Trophy winner of all time when he took home the hardware in 2000 as a 27-year-old. Weinke had more of a shot under center than others on this list, but his career was less than stellar.
He steered the Panthers through their 1-15 season in 2001 in which he threw 2,931 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. He saw only intermittent time after that, throwing just 169 passes in four seasons over the next six years before exiting the NFL after the 2007 season.
Andre Ware was the signal-caller for the high-octane University of Houston offense in the late-1980s, leading to his Heisman Trophy season of 1989. The Lions made Ware the seventh overall pick in the 1990 draft, but he turned out to be one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
Ware made just six starts in four seasons with the Lions, totaling 1,112 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. He played on the Raiders' practice squad in 1994 before heading to the CFL and NFL Europe over the next four seasons.
Beban was the 1968 Heisman Trophy winner who was selected 30th overall in the following draft by the Washington Redskins. However, Beban appeared in just four games, attempting one pass and compiling 18 rushing yards before he bowed out of the league.
Huarte was the 1964 Heisman Trophy winner, but he threw for just 230 yards and had a 1/5 TD/INT ratio in seven seasons in the AFL and NFL. Huarte retired in 1972 after a season with the Chicago Bears before reappearing in 1974 with the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League.
O.J. had to sell his Heisman Trophy, which he won in 1968, for $2.3 million as part of the civil suit settlement in the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ron Goldman murder case. Simpson may no longer possess the trophy itself, but the Heisman committee has yet to revoke it or void his standing as the 1968 Heisman winner.
If the committee is going to seriously consider voiding Bush's trophy because he took money, shouldn't it have a higher standard of moral expectations for its winners, especially one who is a convicted criminal and was on trial for a double-murder?