Cheaters Never Win.
Well, sometimes they do. If you are a USC fan, you might want to stop reading.
When the NCAA announced the USC penalties earlier this summer, I was mostly pleased. Most college football fans knew that USC players played with an air of..well, they were a bunch of cheaters. It wasn’t too hard to forecast that. The only question was- how pervasive was the cheating. I tend to think that the NCAA is kind of namby-pamby about penalties imposed on bigger programs. Well, certain programs anyway. Especially West Coast programs beloved by certain sportswriters and pollsters. Since Pete Carroll high-tailed it out of town earlier this year, you knew there was some stinking stuff at USC.
We now know that all the rumors about Reggie Bush being a greedy greedy cheater cheater are true. We also know that the football, basketball, and other athletic programs displayed a flagrant disregard of rules and ethics. Reggie Bush could not wait 4 years to graduate from USC before he accepted gifts. As a result, he forever tarnished his reputation and that of his teammates and school. I don’t lose any sleep over this. Primarily because the 2004-2005 Football season, Texas won every one of its games, performed in stellar fashion, and all anyone could talk about was USC. According to all the broadcasters, USC was the best college football team ever. They basically handed the National Championship trophy to Pete Carroll in October. We all know what happened- they LOST. Because cheaters shouldn’t win. Because Vince Young turned in what is arguably one of the greatest college football/quarterback games of all time. I guess I’m still bitter about that. I could also tell during that game Pete Carroll was so full of ego that there was some crappy stuff at USC. And I WAS RIGHT. See, NCAA, you should really pay more attention to me. I know my football and I can sniff out cheaters. I never trusted Reggie Bush. I swear. There were just too many stories about his parents accepting gifts and what he was or was not doing to make him sit right with me. Now that he is ineligible to play that entire year, what should happen to the Heisman?
Technically, he is ineligible for the trophy. Technically, he does not deserve it. Yes, he won the Heisman in a landslide. Yes, he is one of the most talented collegiate football players in years. However, he was ineligible to play. Therefore, all that footage, all those plays, every time he touched a football NEVER HAPPENED. So, he does not deserve it. Who deserves it? Nobody. I love Vince Young. I think his leadership and athletic ability led the Horns to our National Championship. Without Vince, no way would we have won that final game, those final seconds. That said, I would not want him to win a tainted trophy. I would not want Vince to be the runner-up available if "the Winner can’t complete her duties for any reason." The Heisman trophy should simply be vacated. There should be no winner for the season as a reminder to top athletes everywhere that cheating-whether it is doping, getting the answers to tests, or accepting bribes- doesn’t pay. (Let's forget about the fact that Reggie is sitting on a big pot of money.) It will be interesting to see what happens.