In the two months since the NCAA levied quasi-historic sanctions on the USC football program, numerous byproducts of Reggie Bush‘s willingness to accept cash and prizes while a Trojan have caused monumental upheaval at Heritage Hall.
Several players, including one high-profile recruit, have fled the program, ostensibly in search of more playing time. The long-time athletic director was nudged into “retirement”. And, in a mostly symbolic gesture, the university shipped its copy of Bush’s 2005 Heisman back to the New York City trust charged with awarding it.
One thing that hasn’t happened, though, is perhaps the one thing that Trojan Nation would like most — a public apology from the man responsible for the mess. Or, at the very least, taking ownership of the actions that led directly to the program he’s proclaimed he will defend until the day he dies — maybe — having to dig out of a sanction-laden hole.
The closest that’s come to happening was in late July, when Bush offered some meaningless, self-serving drivel offered up solely, it seemed, to make himself feel better in an uncomfortable situation.
“The whole situation is terrible and nobody feels worse about it than I do.”
Finally, however, Bush seems to be claiming ownership of the mess he created.
According to USA Today, Bush and new athletic director Pat Haden spoke recently, and the New Orleans Saints running back (gasp!) admitted wrongdoing and apologized for the things he’s wrought on his alma mater.
“He’s really contrite,” Haden says of Bush. “He knows he made a series of mistakes. It wasn’t just one mistake. It was a series of mistakes.
“He told me, ‘If I could turn the clock back, I would. If I could give the Heisman Trophy back, I would.”
One, it’s very easy to give that stiff-armed trophy back, Reggie. It’s spelled “U-P-S”. Google it.
Two, good for Reggie. While it may not be the public one that’s necessary to allow him to completely move on from this and totally repair his image, the private mea culpa is a step in the right direction.
Now, take that final step and publicly admit the mistakes you’ve already admitted to privately and apologize to your fans and to the supporters of the college football program you claim to hold near and dear to your heart.
A whole helluva lot more people will respect that stance than currently do the “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” platform you’re presently standing on.