Reggie Bush Could Still Have Heisman Trophy If The NCAA Paid Athletes

Dexter RogersCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2010

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10:  Running back Reggie Bush #5 of the USC Trojans poses with the 2005 Heisman trophy after winning the award at the 71st Annual Heisman Ceremony on December 10, 2005 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images


Reggie Bush has decided to give his Heisman Trophy back in light of the anticipated meeting of the Heisman Trust.  It’s been widely speculated the Heisman Trust would strip Bush of his 2005 award.  I guess he decided to give up his trophy rather than have it taken away.

Bush issued the following, “Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.  It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005."

Bush should have kept his Heisman Trophy. 

That’s right. 

He should keep his Heisman Trophy because he earned it.

If Bush was forced to give up his Heisman Trophy then former USC head coach Pete Carroll, former Athletic Director Mike Garrett, and the university President should have to forfeit their salaries for 2005.

Furthermore, every dime USC made off selling Bush’s jersey and the money they generated from ticket sales in 2005 should be forfeited as well.

Those funds can be utilized as seed money to set up a fund to provide collegiate athletes with a monthly stipend from here on end.

Meanwhile Carroll stated, "It is my hope that this situation serves as a teachable moment to all involved, especially for the young athletes and university and high school administrators of tomorrow."

Give me a break.

Don’t fall for the mainstream media drama folks.  Look beyond what’s being reported and see what’s really transpiring here: Bush has been unfairly targeted to draw individual attention to him while keeping the spotlight off those whom it should shine. 

Just because Carroll wins his first game with the Seattle Seahawks and issues a bogus statement about a “teachable moment” means he’s exempt from blame?

Just because Mike Garrett resigned as the Athletic Director means he’s doesn’t get mentioned anymore in the media?

Then there’s the USC president and the NCAA.  They have wiped their hands clean of this mess and Bush is being utilized as the towel.  He’s being portrayed as the poster-boy for cheating while the real cheaters escape discipline or sanctions.

Bottom line: College athletes should be paid.

If players were paid perhaps athletes like Bush wouldn’t have to be on the take.  Perhaps if athletes like Bush were shown some appreciation for generating the revenue to pay the likes of Texas Longhorn coach Mack Brown $5 million dollars per season to coach this situation wouldn’t be such a big deal.

The NCAA is a mirror image of the historical legacy of the judicial system in America: Throughout its existence the American legal system had been substantially more hypocritical than it has been just towards the oppressed, particularly African-Americans. 

In society African-Americans historically have been the recipients of inequitable justice beginning with the rise of American slavery.  In the realm of American sport the some holds true but in this particular case I believe all collegiate athletes are treated like slaves. 

Athletes are expected to work their collective butts off to generate billions of dollars in revenue yet are not compensated.  That is why athletes like Bush are made examples of so the real crooks can camouflage the real problems with the current system. 

Those who hold power positions in collegiate athletics are given a pass while the athletes aren’t.

How can Kentucky head coach John Calipari have two Final Four appearances wiped off the books and escape any type of discipline?

How can Louisville head coach Rick Pitino bring shame to himself and the university by having sex outside his marriage in a public restaurant, go to trial and testify about his behavior yet not sanctioned?

But there’s Dez Bryant who has a meal with Deion Sanders and lies about it out of fear.  Then the NCAA strips him of his Junior eligibility at Oklahoma State.

Last week University of Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green was suspended four games by the NCAA for selling his bowl game jersey for $1000 dollars.

It is fine for others to profit from Green’s talents and jersey but not him?


I also fault the media for aiding in socially engineering the public from what’s really going on.  The mainstream media, more recently Yahoo Sports, created the atmosphere necessary for Bush to be targeted.  They released a recent story that, in my opinion, forced Bush to relinquish his trophy.

Slice the pie as you wish whether Bush was on the take or not he was the best player in the country in 2005.  Whether he was on the take or not he still would have been taken very high in the NFL draft.

So why does the NCAA, mainstream media and USC continually attempt to damage Bush’s reputation?

The latter entities meticulously work together to create a dark cloud around Bush to divert the public from focusing on the real problems that reside in collegiate athletics.

Like always, I will keep it real.  If it was me and I had the opportunity to take money that could help my family I’d likely be on the take it like Bush.  I would grow weary of seeing my jerseys worn, fans coming to see me perform while USC earns millions of dollars per game and I receive nothing.

I would grow weary of seeing my head coach living in a beach house on scenic Malibu while making millions of dollars and I receive nothing but a series of four one-year contracts called an athletic scholarship.

The NCAA by definition is a Non-For-Profit entity but we all know they are raking in billions of dollars.

Where does the money go?

We know the athletes aren’t getting paid but the universities, coaches, and conference commissioners are all rich yet the most integral part of the athletic experience are kept from getting money.

Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Bush should issue a statement outlining why he was on the take.  He should use his platform to talk about that big elephant in the room everyone seemingly wants to ignore.

As I stated before, look beyond the fact Bush was forced to give back his Heisman Trophy: Look at why he and many other collegiate athletes over time were on the take. More importantly look at how the NCAA operates on an antiquated system that needs to be revamped.

Pay the athletes.

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