Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
Good ol’ No. 5 wore the crimson and gold of USC back in 2005 on his way to one of the most spectacular college football seasons in history. The guy who popularized painting on eye-black strips and jelly-legging opponents on the most ridiculous of runs and special teams returns that video games only dream of recreating.
He was a one-man Cirque Du Soleil, only he didn’t need ropes or any support mechanisms to pull off his acrobatic moves.
Bush arguably left the biggest impact on college football of all time, receiving the third-most first-place Heisman votes in the history of the award. How many times each year do you hear announcers or college coaches compare their new running back’s prospects to the skill set of Bush? The answer: all the time. Now how many times has anyone actually reproduced anything near the game-changing performance that Bush did? You guessed it: not a single time.
The NCAA taking away Bush’s Heisman for off-the-field activities, that aren’t against the law and didn’t benefit his gameplay, is absolutely ridiculous.
Yes, he accepted money from outside sources while in school, which is against the rules. But why do they want to erase everything that happened five years ago? Where was the NCAA then? Oh that’s right, it was cashing in on Bush at the time too, selling his jersey and promoting all things Bush, and now it wants to turn the man into a ghost.
It might be a different story if no one else in history has ever accepted gifts while participating in college athletics, but that is simply not the truth.
Former NBA great Charles Barkley said he accepted money from more than one sports agent hoping to sign him and that the only mistake made by Bush was not paying him back when he got to the NFL like most players do. What? Someone other than Bush accepted benefits from agents? Say it ain’t so.
Anyone who has ever been in college knows what it’s like to need money. Imagine how it must have felt being Bush, the face of college football, making the industry—and yes it is an industry—and not to see a single cent.
Again, I say shame on the NCAA and shame on USC, which cut all ties to Bush as well.
You can turn the man into a ghost, but he will haunt the game and YouTube forever.