While there’s still an appeals process to be played out, the storied USC football program was hit upside the head with a sledgehammer this afternoon by the NCAA.
Future bowl games, past wins and current scholarships were all ripped away from the Trojans due to “lack of institutional control” and “unscrupulous agents” and “failure to monitor” and various other phrases tossed out by the NCAA Thursday afternoon.
But there’s one person who is at the very root of this situation who has somehow, some way, found the means to skate relatively unscathed through all of the scorn being heaped on USC — one Reggie Bush.
There’s simply no way to tap-dance around this situation: this is all on you, Reggie.
He’s the one that allowed his family to accept illegal benefits. He’s the one who improperly received a vehicle, rent-free home, airline tickets, hotel rooms, cash, limousine service, furniture and appliances. He’s the one who placed the program in jeopardy of receiving the very sanctions that were slapped today on an institution he supposedly holds dear.
Certainly those who turned a blind eye are culpable and bear a percentage of the blame and deserve lambasting; however, the man that should shoulder the vast majority of the responsibility for this utter and complete mess is Reggie Bush.
He did it. Not his coaches or his football administration or the athletic department or even the “unscrupulous agents”. He alone accepted what was being placed in front of him, and it matters not whether he’s the first, last or any number of players in between who have received illegal benefits based on their athletic prowess. He did it. And got caught. And his university is paying dearly while he lives off the fat of the NFL land.
He should be held up to scorn and ridicule and public browbeating for what his actions did to his university. Will he take responsibility for what he did, for the mountain of evidence the NCAA had against him? Of course not.
Just a week after distancing himself from the football program with his “whatever happens, happens” blast — which came four months after spewing a sanctimonious “I will defend ‘SC until the day I die” — Bush was back to lovin’ himself some ‘SC as he issued a self-serving statement ahead of the sanctions being announced this afternoon.
“I have a great love for the University of Southern California and I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC, but for the fans and players. I am disappointed by today’s decision and disagree with the NCAA’s findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and USC, as I did during the investigation. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on making a positive impact for the University and for the community where I live.”
Yeah, Reggie, try selling that “regret” to the people most affected by your greed and I’m-above-the-rules attitude — the players currently wearing the same colors that you claim to represent and will “to the day I die.”
Shame on you, Reggie Bush. And shame on anyone else that doesn’t at least heap a healthy handful of scorn upon Bush as they’re picking apart the carcass of the USC football program.