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.