Reggie Bush could be screwed. USC will be screwed. The upshot: SO WHAT NEXT?!
Congratulations to Yahoo! Sports on the site's biggest scoop ever and by far the biggest story of the day/week/month in sports:
An investigation that busts Reggie Bush for taking $100K in freebies from would-be (and will-be) marketing reps -- a follow-up to their original scoop a few months ago first peeling back the onion on this.Here's the direct link to their story.
The whole scandal raises three key questions:
(1)WHAT HAPPENS TO REGGIE BUSH?
One of the most frustrating things about college sports scandals is that the player who does the damage is rarely punished – he's off to his millions in the NFL, virtually untouchable, leaving everyone else to deal with the crap.
Except in this case. There is something punitive that can be done to Bush that would hit him where it really hurts:
Take away his Heisman. Call it my "Heisman His Heisman" campaign.
He may have been the most exciting player ever in college football, but that doesn't mean he can't make himself ineligible for the Heisman Trophy.
I'd strip Bush of the trophy and give it to runner-up Vince Young. That's adding insult to injury. (And righting a wrong: The Rose Bowl proved that VY deserved the Heisman last year.)
(2) WHAT HAPPENS TO THE USC PROGRAM?
I like Dan Wetzel's first-to-market argument that the NCAA take away USC's 2004 national title.
The most fascinating upshot? That makes
It's too bad that the rest of the team would have to pay for Bush's mistakes; that's perpetually the biggest injustice of NCAA sanctions.
(And speaking of sanctions, the NCAA has got to punish the program going forward, beyond retroactively stripping them of their national title. I'd take away two years of bowl eligibility. If I was the Pac-10, I'd throw in a year of not being allowed on TV. That's the 21st century equivalent of the old 1980s "death penalty." No TV? Nooo!!!)
(3) WHAT HAPPENS TO THE USC COACHES?
Yahoo has a report that the RBs coach knew about the Bush situation and didn't do anything about it. That guy better polish up his resume. Maybe Reggie can get him a job cleaning toilets for the Saints.
But I think it would be a mistake to let Pete Carroll off the hook, simply because he claims not to have known anything.
As the head of the program – its CEO, effectively – he is responsible for what happens. To think that he didn't keep tabs on his best player either shows remarkable willful negligence -- or remarkable willful stupidity. With either excuse, do you really want that guy coaching your team?
I'm sure USC will slap him on the wrist, but let's please not accept his "I didn't know nuthin'" plausible deniability. It was his JOB to keep his players – and program – clean.
Comments spin-off question: What's your take on this entire thing? If it's all true, what's the most appropriate punishment? How do you reconcile the inability to really punish Bush with all the weight of his infractions falling on the USC program? Where's USC's culpability in all this? What do you think of my "Strip-the-Heisman" idea?