There has been many a word spilled in the last couple of months as to whether or not Reggie Bush will, should or would be stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy after being declared retroactively ineligible by the NCAA.
Apparently, the governing body of the stiff-arm hardware is about to put an end to the discussion. And, in the process, give rise to a whole other debate.
According to a report by the investigative bulldogs at Yahoo! Sports, the Heisman Trophy Trust is expected to strip the former USC running back of his trophy in very short order, perhaps as early as this month. The website reports that the trust has been conducting its own investigation into the situation since the NCAA levied near-historic sanctions on the Trojans football program in June. Two sources told the site that the probe is close to wrapping up.
Unfortunately for Mack Brown, this will not be a retroactive boon for his former quarterback Vince Young; the ’05 Heisman will be vacated instead of handed over to the second-place vote getter Young or conducting a revote.
Yahoo! reports there were two overriding factors that are playing/have played into the decision.
Two factors outweighed all others, sources said: The Heisman ballot necessitates candidates be in compliance with NCAA bylaws and concern over the Heisman’s reputation in the wake of the NCAA findings against Bush.
Heisman bylaws clearly state that “the recipient must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete.” Being declared retroactively ineligible certainly puts Bush in the noncompliance neighborhood, and makes this decision by the trust, in reality, a no-brainer.
Another no-brainer is to simply vacate the award. Certainly Vince Young had a magnificent ’05 season and was more than worthy of being in the Heisman mix, but to go back five years and award the former Longhorn Bush’s trophy would smell nearly as bad as the stench that arose from Bush’s money grab in the first place.
No, the Heisman Trust is doing the right thing if this situation plays out the way Yahoo! presents it. And, with the trust having yet to complete its investigation, there’s one more entity that could do the right thing. And perhaps help begin the process of repairing his tattered image in the process.
Reggie Bush should, right here right now, publicly apologize for the shame he has brought to the university he supposedly holds so dear, admit his role in the scandal and return his Heisman voluntarily before it’s involuntarily stripped.
USC has already returned their copy of the Heisman; Bush should voluntarily and very publicly follow suit.
It’s the right thing to do for anyone that has anything remotely resembling Pat Haden’s soul. Then again, doing the right thing when it came to NCAA football wasn’t exactly a Bush strong suit, so no one should hold his/her breath waiting for him to start now.