1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Thursday. “USC-Football–Reggie Bush–Welcomes Back a Hero-Who Hurt Program”
It was a spectacular three year run they had together, the USC Trojans-Pete Carroll era.
Triggered by QB-Matt Leinart, with the explosive Reggie Bush and the power running of Lendale White and the pass catching of Steve Smith, that 3-year span in the early 2000’s, was remarkable.
It brought Trojans football back to the era of John McKay and John Robinson.
And then it was over.
The Reggie Bush led National Title season, the Heisman Trophy award, and a (37-2) record was gone.
Stained, blemished, tarnished, shamed.
When the NCAA probe of USC football was done, it led to 4-years probation…the loss of 30-scholarships…stripped of the national title win over Oklahoma, and a decade long decline in something that had been so spectacular.
It cost the AD his job. The President left the university. Coaches were caught up and lost their jobs..
The Trojans running back was found to have received 300,000 over a 3-year span, money funneled to his family by a marketing firm, led by a financial advisor and a former imprisoned friend of his Bush’s father.
Reggie Bush ran free, right to the NFL, as a first round draft pick
He left behind a brilliant USC career, (4,470) all purpose yards and 38-TDs in that offense.
He spent 11-years in the NFL, 5-great seasons with the Saints, a couple with Detroit, and single seasons in Miami-Buffalo-San Francisco where injuries overtook his career.
The NFL ledger shows over (9,000) all purpose yards and 54-TDs.
Bush was the modern day equivalent of Tony Dorsett. Maybe a vision of talent equal to Gale Sayers.
But in his wake of his career, was the destruction wrought on his Alma Mater. That and the nasty 10-year ban handed down by the NCAA to disassociate himself from his university. The Heisman was turned back into the Maxwell Club in New York. Wins in the record book became losses with *asterisks.
Superstar became Persona-non-Grata.
Now the ban is over. He is free to return to the University where people will forever remember the accomplishments.
Bush never cooperated in the NCAA investigation. Never defended the coaches who tutored him. Never admitted the wrong doing. Never apologized.
I don’t know how card-carrying members of the Trojan Club can look back and feel good about Reggie Bush, the person. The player-maybe, but the person no.
The son of Troy has come back to Heritage Hall and the McKay Center.
If Reggie Bush really wants to be welcomed back, he should apologize in full for what he did.
If Reggie Bush really wants to be honored, he should write a check for the 300,000-dollars illegal benefits he took, and give it to the University, for all the pain and harm he caused.
I don’t know if I were wearing Cardinal & Gold, I could ever look at the guy wearing #5 again in the same way. What he did on the field at the LA Coliseum was magnificent. What he allowed to happen to the University is shameful.
A glittery-star struck career seems forever tarnished and stained.
Until he says ‘truly sorry’ and pays his university back, I can’t recognize him for anything beyond being a Trojan record-setting cheat.
Classy player should try now to be a classy person.