Somewhere this week, a gifted running back is dropping his head in shame. With all the sanctions tarnishing USC a once-prestigious atmosphere for exquisite athleticism and higher education is now defaced of self-destruction and embarrassment because of arrogance and indulgence.
But with all the turmoil poisoning a regal university, casting gloom over the spacious campus, it’s elementary to believe USC priorities were glitches as the school alleged it had no awareness of the hypocrisy tainting the program.
However, the essential dismantling of collegiate sports is the manipulation of slimy agents and has emerged as the vernacular in the realm of the NCAA, sadly demolishing spirit and placing ignominy within an elite program.
It’s the ugliest fallout ever, a disgraceful and awful terminal, ousting a historic mark and a noteworthy era where the Trojans relentlessly prevailed each weekend and, as a result, won national titles and were advertised as powerhouses.
But now, the crystal ball trophies are profoundly dirty and blemished with the corruption of Reggie Bush, the star tailback whose attainments bolstered the Trojans to two national titles, while winning a bronze, stiff-armed statue for himself.
If ever there were a time to take accountability and cautionary actions, it would have been a long time ago, but the severe punishment was announced that Southern California was returning its replica of the 2005 Heisman Trophy.
The latest sanctions and annihilation, hazed under farce with four-year probation, postseason forfeits, and now the loss of one’s Heisman award, is the parody of stigma at a program that toyed with academics and the standards of education.
But it’s very mind-blowing and preposterous that the trustees aren’t accountable and somehow weren’t aware of Bush accepting $300,000, or his parents moving from an apartment to a wealthier house when sordid agents offered costless housing. All while attending USC as a "student" athlete, not a professional athlete, Bush was young and mindless.
But around the nation, of course, he’s accused as a disgraceful fraud, and he’s responsible for all the harsh sanctions. With all his achievements, nonetheless, he was unaware of what the sleazy businessmen presented and lavished to him, just as predecessor Mike Garrett had no knowledge whatsoever. The arrogance and forbearance of former athletic director stained legitimacy and a symbolic brand of traditional accomplishments.
So, as anticipated, he was booted and Pat Haden was hired to revamp a treacherous program for which rising stars are becoming fallen stars. The new president of USC Max Nikias is demanding strong character and a spotless image, ready to escape the wicked era of NCAA penalties that toppled a storied program.
The ramifications of fraud were clear, but instead Garrett was in denial and failed to take stricter measures by setting barriers for a disoriented atmosphere.
Doing so, he installed further embarrassment and inconvenience for mishandling the burlesque scandals that better defined a tainted program, battered in a national holocaust of committing infractions and making a mockery of academia.
But the successor of Garrett is handed a tougher task by playing the role of an enforcer to avoid compliance and investigations after amplifying deeply in an athletic department, suffocating under the latest sanctions and with the lack of perspicacity.
In fairness, the Heisman Trust must vacate Garrett’s trophy, too. In his tenure as the overseer of USC athletics, he allowed too much immunity and lacked knowledge. The reality of a dreadful ordeal is that he was too damn apathetic and ruined his credibility within a masterful program harmed with asterisks.
Meanwhile, Bush should be showing remorse instead of denying the truth, secretively refusing to utter the honest evidence of wrongdoing.
He’s obviously guilty of taking money and accepting improprieties, but he’s unwilling to release the truth, arrogantly endangering his wondrous legacy and respectability. It’s very unfair that the entire university is punished and liable of someone else’s wrongdoing, suffering severe penalties for a star athlete who no longer attends USC and a careless athletic director who was recently banished in a significant role.
Five years later, Bush is stripped of the Heisman for obviously taking counterfeit money and having a greedy, arrogant, self-absorbed modus. It doesn’t take long before an innocent paragon becomes the evilest enemy at an illustrious university where he represented a high-powered offense, if not only in the Pac-10, in college football, as one of the singular tailbacks in Trojans history.
Maybe it was appropriate to void his Heisman, in many ways, to avoid any nonsense of athletes bonding with manipulative agents or accepting benefits and gifts. At first, when reports surfaced of his relationship and the alleged infractions, he said that he had no involvement and the accusations were false.
That was a common perception of Bush refusing to confess in violating the NCAA rule, which prohibits the acceptance of benefits and improprieties. He crippled his description as the best, most explosive running back in USC history, he ruined believability, and lastly, he ravaged the Trojans, who now have to live and suffer with disgrace as winning national titles are out of the equation.
Surely, he was a national attraction and was highly targeted by agents with the exceptional talent he exposed regularly on the field. The hierarchy of the top running back at USC does not exist, and he’s a forgotten Trojan even when he inflated revenue in advertisements, ticket sales, scholarship funding, and team apparel.
Between a defiant Garrett, whose reign ended so miserably and embarrassingly, and Bush’s greed and unbearable stance in a despicable situation, USC badly plunges and attenuates as a relentless program. By the time Haden arrived, it felt like he transformed the culture instantly, as no one miss the incompetence of Garnett, who left a program in bedlam and nearly on life-support until Haden’s presence revived promise.
It’s very unfortunate that Bush’s spectacular season in 2005 is forgotten. In the aftermath of sanctions and infractions, he brought it on himself.