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USC Attempts To Erase Reggie Bush Era Following Scandal

Reggie Bush won the 2005 Heisman Trophy Reggie Bush won the 2005 Heisman Trophy

Unfortunately, the talk in the NCAA college football world this off-season has nothing to do with the product on the field or the prospects of the upcoming season’s top schools. Instead, all eyes and ears are attuned to USC in the wake of the scandal involving Reggie Bush. After being hit with a stiff punishment and overhauling much of their staff, the Trojans are attempting to erase the Bush era from their history.

Bush, the star running back who is now a highly paid member of the NFL’s reigning Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints, was found guilty of accepting gifts and financial benefits from prospective sports marketers while he was still a USC student. That is directly in violation of NCAA rules.

The NCAA has ruled that the University of Southern California must vacate wins from both the 2004 and 2005 seasons. The school also received a two-year ban preventing it from competing in any of the prestigious Bowl games college football is famous for. Additionally, USC was hit with restrictions on scholarships and put on four-years probation.

And that may not be the end of it.

The NCAA has said it will wait until USC’s appeal process is complete before deciding whether or not the program will be forced to vacate its 2004 national championship.

As for Bush, there’s very little that can be done to discipline him now that he has gone pro. USC has returned their replica of the Heisman trophy that was awarded to Bush as college football’s most outstanding player in 2005, but it’s not certain yet whether the Heisman committee will ask Bush to return his as well.

For USC’s part, returning their copy of Bush’s Heisman is just the start. They are also attempting to delete any trace of the former Trojans star from their institution. All images and mementos of Bush have been removed from the school and its athletic facilities. It’s a face-saving move by USC to try to distance itself from Bush and show that they are taking the NCAA’s reprimand seriously.

USC is now looking to the future, with a new football head coach, new athletic director, and new president all set to help erase the disgrace one of the biggest scandals in college football history.

Reggie Bush, meanwhile, will try to say the right things and then pick up where he left off with his pro career. In the end, it’s not Reggie Bush, but the University of Southern California and their entire athletic program that will suffer for the transgression. But just as certainly, the USC Trojans will rise again. Their football program is historically one of the strongest in America. They may have to lie low for a while, but they will be back.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2011 06:36

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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