Returning Bush’s Heisman Won’t Change History But Is Right Thing to do
A move many of us figured was coming before too long finally happened on Tuesday. USC athletic director Mike Garrett was replaced by Pat Haden who promised to “compete ferociously but also ethically.” Haden’s first order of business is to patch up the public image of USC after the Trojans suffered numerous hits within the last several months. On top of all the gaffes by Lane Kiffin, the school was punished by the NCAA for multiple violations mostly related to O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush. Now, new school president Max Nikias isn’t messing around:
“I have instructed the senior vice president for administration to remove athletic jerseys and murals displayed in recognition of O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush by mid-August – before the incoming class of students moves on campus – from Heritage Hall, the Galen Center, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Nikias also said Reggie Bush’s 2005 Heisman Trophy will be revoked and returned to the Heisman Trophy Trust in August.
It’s a shame to see players (Bush more so than Mayo) who were so beloved by the program when they were playing now fall to pariah status. Still, returning the Heisman Trophy is the right thing to do, namely because cheaters aren’t allowed to win the award: On the Heisman Trophy ballot, it is stated that “the recipients must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete.” Bush most certainly was not in compliance so it is right of USC to return the Trophy.
My point is that by returning trophy you’re at least acknowledging you are not supposed to have the award. It doesn’t change the 66-19 butt whooping over UCLA, the ending against Notre Dame, nor the 513 yard game against Fresno State that locked up the posed statue for #5; all of that lives in all of our memories and won’t be erased. Reggie Bush was a great college football player but he was not compliant with the rules therefore it’s right for the Heisman to be returned. Besides, Vince Young deserved it anyway.