Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reggie Bush Returns his Heisman Trophy

Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush II returns his Heisman Trophy amidst the scandal. And so for the year 2005 there will be no Heisman Trophy winner.

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity no matter what sportswear uniform you wear. In 2005, it was awarded to Reggie Bush of USC Trojans but the scandal that tinted his award and has left USC heavily penalized. In fact due to the violation (inadvertently according to Bush) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) caused the USC Trojans a lot including “a two-year ban on post-season games, placed on four years of probation, lost 30 scholarships, and were forced to forfeit their 2004-05 victories.” And then USC decided to return the school’s trophy and though the Heisman Trust have said they have not made a decision yet to strip Bush of his trophy, it was returned back to them by Bush himself.

The scandal started with the NCAA’s investigation on what they believed as Bush rules violations of when he was a Trojan football scholar. According to the 4 year investigation made by NCAA investigators, Bush received impermissible benefits, meaning cash and gifts as well as picking up the tab for tens of thousands of dollars worth of housing for him and his family by 2 sports marketing companies.

Bush returning his Heisman Trophy only removes the trophy and leaves the position vacant. He may have violated the rules but we cannot discount that in 2005 he was still the most outstanding college football player. Not that I am saying it’s okay to cheat. But his being given impermissible benefits certainly disqualifies him from the award but does not take anything out of his playing ability as a running back. Even the runner up Vince Young is not willing to accept the award if ever because he also believes that Reggie Bush is still the Heisman awardee and Bush is still the 2005 best college football player.

Let us just take the lessons that can be learned from this which is know the rules first and strictly follow it in order that your winning is not tainted by any scandal. And I am not just talking about college football but in everything that you do. And if there is one opinion that I see quite fit for this is what Los Angeles Times put very concisely:

What schools can and should do is make it abundantly clear to athletes, coaches and athletic directors that sports take a back seat to studies.
Because of the monetary benefits as well as fame that these young sportsmen are getting, many are easily corrupted and forget why you really went to college and that was to finish your education.

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