A week after the NCAA dropped the college football equivalent of a nuclear bomb on the University of Southern California (USC), Reggie Bush has decided to speak on the issues facing his former school.
"For the people who say ... well I've heard people say that I don't really care about this too much and I just brush it off my shoulders. Those people don't know me. Because this thing regarding USC and the NCAA is to me the closest thing to death without dying," Bush said in his opening statement. "Because I have such a great love and respect for the University of (Southern) California, this has been one of the toughest things I've had to deal with in my life. But at the same time whether it's all true or all wrong or whether we're guilty or not guilty, it's still my responsibility and I have to accept that.”
Now Bush has decided to accept it? Where was this “I’m here to talk about it” attitude when NCAA reps were doing their best FBI impersonation at USC, trying to find wrongdoings by the athletic department?
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What Bush is doing now is trying to throw a pity party for himself.
This is the same guy who had over a year to come clean about his relationship with two Southern California agents who treated him and his family to things that they shouldn’t have been treated to. The same guy who tried to do everything possible to prevent having to give a testimony under oath in regards to said dealings. The same guy who settled a lawsuit with one former “associate” at New Era Sports in order to get it out of the public limelight a little quicker.
This whole “depressed” and “saddened” act is just an obvious attempt by Bush to reshape his image in Los Angeles. According to Yahoo Sports reports, Bush’s friends feel that he is so unwelcome in LA after the sanctions that he may have to move his offseason home.
You really have to feel for the poor multi-millionaire who can pack up and move homes because of an NCAA scandal he helped bring on.
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A week ago, the NCAA officially came out with a statement that USC had "exhibited a lack of institutional control from 2004 to 2009." As a result, the school faced a number of sanctions including, but not limited to, having to vacate their 2004 wins and losses of scholarships for numerous sports.
The NCAA infractions committee had its hearing in February.
The Trojans had been under investigation for their dealings with Heisman Trophy-winning running back, Bush, who played at USC from 2003-05. Once the investigation is complete, Bush could be stripped of his prestigious award if it is proven that he accepted improper benefits from a sports marketer
USC suffered the following penalties as a result of the sanctions:
• A postseason ban in football following the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
• A loss of 30 total football scholarships over the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.
• A vacation of all football victories starting in December 2004 and running through the 2005 season. This includes the national championship win over Oklahoma on Jan. 4, 2005.
• An acceptance of USC’s self-imposed penalties on its basketball program, which included a forfeiture of all wins in 2007-2008 and a one-year postseason ban.
• All statistics vacated for Bush, Mayo and an unnamed women’s tennis athlete in games the NCAA deemed them ineligible due to rules violations.
• All titles won during ineligible games must be vacated and trophies and banners must be removed.
• Bush and Mayo must be disassociated from USC athletics.
• A forfeiture of wins in the women’s tennis program from May 2006 to May 2009, for long-distance telephone violations committed by an athlete.
• A reduction of recruiting days for the men’s basketball program in 2010-2011.
• Four years of probation.
So with all that in mind, it’s hard to very too sorry for Bush.
Now to be fair, USC deserves what they got. They tried to be slick and close their eyes to the improper benefits received by their big-time athletes, and this is what they get for it. However, every sports fan out there knows that this is common practice by all the big programs. As such, it’s hard to really scold a school like USC for turning a blind eye to money-under-the-table deals with their NFL prospects.
The point is, however, that Bush is not an innocent party. He is just as guilty as USC, and his “aww-shucks did I do that?” reaction to this whole ordeal is almost as pathetic as former head coach Pete Carroll bolting to the professional ranks at the first sign of trouble.