Sunday, September 17, 2006

NCAA Has No Moral Authority To Penalize Reggie Bush And USC

Reggie Bush is in the news again, this time for all the wrong reasons. A Yahoo Sports investigation going on for eight months uncovered evidence that Bush and his family "appear to have accepted financial benefits more than $100,000 from prospective agents while at USC."

Please help yourself with the details from the above link, but the evidence is enough to convince me that Reggie violated the NCAA rules beyond reasonable doubt.

I'm interested because Reggie Bush is an ex-Trojan, and since I was once a UCLA Bruin, I can't keep quiet on the topic of the crosstown rival's Heisman running back.

Reggie Bush is a now a Saint — not a Saint defined by the Pope, who, unfortunately, is also facing the flak these days for spelling out the truth from some obscure book written during the hay days of Christian brutality.

Before Reggie became a New Orleans Saint, he helped the Trojans to a national championship in 2004. Then he won the Heisman in 2005.

Now we are retroactively dealing with a situation. Had he taken the favors then, should the NCAA make him and USC suffer now?

Take away his Heisman? As if the financial benefits made him the most amazing running back in the recent memory.

Take away the national championship from the Trojans? Please — I beg you. (But that was just the Bruin in me talking.)

I say, don't touch the championship. It doesn't make sense. There are tons of gift showers happening in college sports. We all know that. The coaches know that. The colleges know that. Every damn two-legged football junkie knows that.

This inquest shouldn't be just about Reggie Bush. All the college superstars, in all sports, have a skeleton or two in their closets.

According to the NCAA rules you cannot accept favors — not even from Don "make him an offer he can't refuse" Corleone. To make matters worse, the celebrity studs of the college get as much press as the pros and yet we expect them to live like ordinary freshmen and sophomores and remind them and their family of their responsibilities. How unfair is that?

I am not saying NCAA doesn't have the right to hypocrisy. By all means, they should feel free to be one, but they should stay away from crucifying their bread and butters for not being Jesus.

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