Yahoo! Sports says that its own eight-month investigation has turned up evidence that Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and his family received more than $100,000 in airfare, hotel rooms, limos, clothes and assistance in buying a car — plus regular cash payments — from marketing agents while Bush starred for the USC Trojans. If true, USC could face serious NCAA penalties and Bush could, in theory, retroactively lose his college eligibility and his Heisman. He currently plays for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League. Bush declined comment and his marketing agent, Mike Ornstein, denied wrongdoing. USC coach Pete Carroll and athletic director Mike Garrett also declined to be interviewed.
Yahoo's NFL writers Jason Cole and Charles Robinson wrote the piece. Columnist Dan Wetzel accompanies the package with a call for the NCAA to strip USC of its 2004 national championship and Bush of his Heisman.
Anything less, any bit of situational justice, would be a slap in the face of fair play and another in the NCAA's long history of double-standard enforcement.
Bush, by NCAA standards, was a professional athlete for most of his final two seasons, and USC either knew it or sure as heck should have. At the very least, operating an open-gate culture where athletes and agents were allowed to mix and mingle in the inner sanctums of the program was akin to playing with fire.
And in this case the Trojans got burned.