By now, you have probably heard that Reggie Bush, a player for the New Orleans Saints in the NFL, renounced his Heisman Trophy in the midst of ongoing media controversy. In fact, he made the decision to give up the award when the Heisman Trophy Trust mentioned it may pursue a review of his eligibility based upon a recent NCAA report. The details of the report revealed that Bush, along with his family, improperly accepted cash and other gifts from sports agents while he was playing at USC years ago. How many years ago? Over five.
Bush says returning the Heisman is not an admission of guilt. At this point, it appears that much of the media continues to insist upon Bush admitting his alleged culpability in the situation. Other people, like many of his devoted fans, are debating whether or not he should have relinquished the Heisman Trophy in the first place.
Fully realizing that USC has suffered greatly as a result of all this, an admission of guilt by Bush will not assuage the sanctions against his former university. So, what is the point?
According to Yahoo Sports:
“Bush said he thought returning the award was the best way to move forward.
“‘I felt just to kind of silence all the talk around it, all the negativity around it-I felt like this would be the best decision to do right now so I could focus.’
“Bush was the landslide winner of the Heisman following a highlight-filled 2005 season in which he piled up 2,890 all-purpose yards and helped lead USC to the BCS national title game, which the Trojans lost to Texas.“
Ever since the allegations surfaced, countless individuals have been running around on a witch hunt linked to something that happened when Bush was a young player in college. If he accepted money and gifts from an agent, can you blame the guy?
It is quite easy to judge Reggie Bush and pretend like you would never have taken the money had you been in his shoes. But you were not in his position — so you will never really know.
Years ago, I attended a top public university here in the South — a couple of guys that I met while going to school were there on athletic scholarships. One of my friends came from a very low-income household, and had a child at home that he was making an effort to support while he was in school full-time — and playing a collegiate sport.
It is unfortunate that many of these NCAA players come from not-so-solid backgrounds financially, leaving parents at home who, in some instances, struggled to pay the light bill. While attending school provides a young player with an excellent opportunity, it also presents an entirely new set of challenges.
Being poor, struggling in school full-time as an athlete — never a simple situation. In all likelihood, situations like the one involving Bush will continue in the future.
As stated on Yahoo Sports:
“‘You’re still a kid, but you’re still asked to make adult decisions,’ Bush said, alluding to a handful of college teams – including North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina – dealing with probes into whether their players had improper contact with agents.”
Year after year, universities throughout the entire United States make enormous profits off of the blood and sweat of these young men. Seriously — think of the huge earnings from all of the team apparel and ticket sales that major colleges around the country earn on an annual basis. It is ridiculous at best.
Based upon current rules and regulations, if an agent decides to provide assistance to a player expecting to be drafted into the NFL, is it right? No, but in my opinion it is entirely understandable. I cannot comprehend why people are so obsessed with a League-bound athlete making money — before he graduates from college — versus afterward.
Personally, as a fan, unless Bush did something extreme like committing a violent crime against another individual or doing serious drugs, I think he should be allowed to move forward.
When a person is attending college, he may actually be prone to a few transgressions. It happens. Does that make him a deplorable human being? No. Hopefully, since it is now years after the fact, Bush has learned from his mistakes — and in the future — other young players will as well. He is an athlete who happens to perform well on the gridiron, but he is not perfect.
People really need to allow Reggie Bush to live his life. He continuously makes an effort to excel as a professional football player in the League. At the end of the day, Bush gave the Heisman Trophy back. Why is this still a story?
More From Associated Content
Brett Martel, “Bush: Giving up Heisman not an admission of guilt”, Yahoo Sports