FWAA to USC: We'll take that '04 title, thank you very much


It’s not exactly the BcS crystal, or even the Associated Press title, but the Reggie Bush greed-grab has finally cost USC a piece of hardware from their undefeated 2004 season.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.com reports that the Football Writers Association of America voted Thursday morning to vacate USC’s 2004 national championship.  As part of the process, the organization has requested that the school return the FWAA’s Grantland Rice Trophy, given annually since 1954 to that group’s national champion.

(Given Pat Haden‘s questioning of Bush’s soul yesterday for not returning his Heisman, it would behoove USC to return the FWAA trophy yesterday.  And while they’re at it, if they had my soul, they would return all of the title trophies they won in 2004 while using a player who turned out to be ineligible.  After all, you can’t have selective soul when it comes to tainted hardware, can you?)

It’s the first time, incidentally, the FWAA has ever stripped a school of the trophy.

As indicated by the vote to vacate, the FWAA will not retroactively award the trophy to either Oklahoma, which was trounced by the Trojans in the BcS title game, or Auburn, which was left on the outside of the title picture looking in following an undefeated season.

The AP has already publicly stated that there will be no vacating of the 2004 honor they bestowed upon USC, although the BcS may still strip the Trojans of the title based on Bush being declared retroactively ineligible for receiving illegal benefits.

Vacating or stripping awards won’t change the fact — sorry, Auburn fans — that USC was the best team on the field in 2004, but it is a nod to the seemingly antiquated notion that you must do the right things off the field as well as on in order to hold on to your accolades.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.