If USC, Bush cheated, should they lose BCS title, Heisman?

  The 125-year NCAA investigation (okay, that’s a SLIGHT exaggeration) into the University of Southern California football program and star running back Reggie Bush is expected to mercifully come to an end soon. There were rumblings that the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions would release its report last week but it didn’t. The investigation has been going on since 2006 so what’s a few more days? USC went before the Infractions Committee in February. In the old days they used to come up with a decision about six weeks after the hearing. Not any more.  Hey, it’s complicated and this is one of the most complicated cases ever.

This all happened a long time ago so let’s recap: Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, allegedly received $300,000 in cash and other benefits from a two “gentlemen” (Lloyd Lake, Michael Michaels) who wanted to be Bush’s agent. But Bush stiffed those guys and went with another agency. They sued. NCAA investigators hoped that Bush would be put on the witness stand or, at the very least, have to sit for a deposition. Lying to NCAA investigators has no consequences unless you’re a current college player (ask Dez Bryant). But lying under oath gets you fitted for a striped suit and tin cup. It came as no surprise when Bush settled the case out of court rather than be compelled to tell the truth about his relationship with the two gentlemen in question.

I don’t have to tell you that a lot of people are watching this case and are handicapping the outcome. Opinions differ.  Former USC coach Pete Carroll, who got out of town (Seattle Seahawks) in January just ahead of the NCAA posse, said last week that he would be surprised if tough sanctions came down.

But elsewhere in the college football universe, this is seen as a big case test on whether or not the NCAA has the stomach to take down a high-profile football program that is not named Alabama.

If only half of what has been reported about Bush is true and USC skates on this one, there will be a nuclear eruption in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide program was hammered for rules violations in 2002 and the penalties came with a considerable amount of finger wagging from the NCAA. Who could forget infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager saying that the committee considered giving Alabama the death penalty? He said that Alabama was “absolutely staring down the barrel of a gun (death penalty)” but the committee settled on a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 21 scholarships over three years.

Will the NCAA have the same righteous indignation for misbehavior and lack of institutional control, if proven, that takes place on the West Coast?

It is going to get pretty nasty if USC just gets a slap on the wrist.

Here are two big questions to keep in mind as we await the USC verdict:

No. 1: The qualifications for winning the Heisman Trophy clearly state that the recipient must be NCAA eligible. What if the NCAA proves after the fact that Bush was NOT eligible when he competed and won the Heisman in 2005? Many Heisman winners have had brushes with the law after winning the award but none has ever been stripped of the honor. On its website it says that the “Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and the integrity of this award.” But would the Heisman Trust want to open this can of worms? My friend Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald suggests that if Bush cheated his Heisman Trophy should just be “vacated” or just stricken from the record books like it never happened.

Here is what I would do. If it is proven that Mr. Bush was ineligible in 2005, rather than set the precedent of vacating the award for that year, I would simply send Mr. Bush a letter telling him he is no longer welcome at any function honoring past Heisman Trophy winners. You can keep the hardware, Reggie, but you are out of the club.  Of course now that Mr. Bush has been paid handsomely by the NFL I’m sure he feels the ends justify the means. In short, shame is probably no longer part of his makeup.

No. 2: Even if the NCAA puts USC on double-secret probation and takes away a bunch of scholarships, that body cannot strip USC of its 2004 BCS national championship. That’s because the NCAA doesn’t award national championships in Division I-A football. And what the NCAA does not giveth, it cannot taketh away.

The BCS does not have an enforcement arm and really doesn’t want to get into the enforcement business. But BCS officials have told me that they would have to consider it if the NCAA proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that USC cheated.

So I’ll put it to you. If the NCAA Committee on Infractions gets the goods on USC—and I’m talking about lock-solid proof– should the BCS take away the 2004 national championship and should Reggie Bush be stripped or otherwise publicly separated from 2005 his Heisman Trophy?

And what happens if, after four years of investigating, the NCAA comes up with nothing?

 

JACK HAIRSTON, RIP: We lost Jack Hairston over the weekend. Jack wrote for the AJC early in his career but was best known as longtime sports columnist for the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun.  He was 81 years old. Jack was a member of the Football Writers Association Hall of Fame and is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and two daughters.  Jack was a good man and helped me early in my career. Please keep his family in your prayers.

 

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www.twitter.com/MrCFB

393 comments Add your comment

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:28 pm

“Saban is a quitter who ran away from LSU after winning a national title?”

Yep, after his LSU Tigers had to share with USC who cried about it.

“A quitter would be a guy who leaves Iowa State after going 5-17 over 2 years.”

No, that’s called leaving a crappy school to go to a much better school.

Honestly, the AU athletic board is full of retards. AU has plenty of money to go out and buy a Nick Saban or an Urban Meyer. Why they don’t is beyond me.

Beast from the East

May 17th, 2010
7:28 pm

It’s safe to say Saban didn’t fare too well in the NFL (see Spurrier). But you certainly can’t argue with his success at the college level. Seems to run a tight ship. I think he did just like Spurrier. Thought he needed to try it at the next level but found out it was a TOTALLY different game. Then came back to what he realized he truly loved….coaching college ball. I don’t fault either one of them for that. I’m sure there are some Gators and plenty of LSU fans that don’t share my feelings, but you can’t please everyone.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:31 pm

“Tell Pat Dye to shut up and go deliver Eric Ramsey his free steaks.”

Sure, after you go tell Antonio Langham’s sport agent to pay for yours!

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

“Then came back to what he realized he truly loved…money.”

FYT

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

What people forget is that Saban took over a Dolphins franchise that was terrible. In his 2nd year he had the dolphins on a 6 game winning streak before the pursuit of him by Bama became public. The dolphins then lost their last 4 to finish the season. But people forget that they were rolling with 6 straight wins before the news broke that Bama was pursuing him. There is a reason why dolphins owner Wayne Heizenga countered the Bama offer of 4 million a year and offered 5 million a year to Saban to stay. But I guess Forrest here probably is smarter than a billionair like Wayne Heizenga.

Beast from the East

May 17th, 2010
7:33 pm

I’m not sure but I think Saban actually took a pay cut to come to Bama. I’m sure Tide can let us know for sure.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:34 pm

Forrest,

Please explain your logic. If Saban took a one million dollar pay cut to come back to the college game then how is it that he’s all about the money? Splain that one child.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:34 pm

Tide Rising

Who was the first player Saban recruited in his first year as head coach?

Hint: An Auburn running back…..

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

“If Saban took a one million dollar pay cut to come back to the college game then how is it that he’s all about the money?”

4 million/per year. 1 million if he won a national championship. Yep, chump change……..

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

Beast,

Not just a pay cut but a million dollar a year pay cut. Bottom line is that he just didn’t enjoy coaching at the pro level.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

“Splain that one child.”

Is that the best you can do, ma’am?

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:36 pm

“Bottom line is that he just COULDN’T coach at the pro level.”

FYT, ma’am.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:37 pm

“What people forget is that Saban took over a Dolphins franchise that was terrible.”

Oh, so then Saban is really stupid? I mean if he left a great program to go to a terrible one and could not handle it……….

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:38 pm

Forrest,

I’ve seen the news details of the Bama contract. It was in the news since he’s a public employee and his pay is a matter of public record. I don’t think he gets a million dollar payday for winning the bcs. Provide your source please. And likewise if he gets bonused for winning the bcs and can max out at 5 million then he wouldn’t he likewise have incentive packages with the Dolphins which would have likewise pushed his overall pay from a base pay of 5 mill to a 6 million or more payout for winning a super bowl? Try to keep up with the logic child.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:40 pm

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:36 pm
“Bottom line is that he just COULDN’T coach at the pro level.”

FYT, ma’am.

Forrest, If that’s true then why did Heizenga try to keep him and outspend Alabama? Can’t wait to see your logic on this one.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:43 pm

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:37 pm
“What people forget is that Saban took over a Dolphins franchise that was terrible.”

“Oh, so then Saban is really stupid? I mean if he left a great program to go to a terrible one and could not handle it……….”

Forrest,

Child are you just plain stupid? The whole reason coaches get fired and jobs become available is generally because a program has declined. Hence when there is a job opening its because a coach got fired for nonperformance and the new coach is coming into the job to try and turn things around. You can’t possibly be that stupid? Or can you?

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:45 pm

“Forrest, If that’s true then why did Heizenga try to keep him and outspend Alabama?’

LOL! He left the NFL because he knew he couldn’t win there. Obviously his only choice was to abandon ship and head to bama.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:45 pm

Forrest,

Its also called taking on a challenge. Saban had already reached the pinnacle of college football by winning a national title. The only place to go from there is to take on a pro job as a challenge. And how many pro jobs typically became available where the team and franchise are winning and are in great shape? Not many.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:47 pm

Forrest,

If he couldn’t win at Miami then how is it the dolphins were on a 6 game winning streak when news broke of Bama going after Saban?

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:47 pm

“Child are you just plain stupid?’

Do you always steal insults and play them off as your own? YES YOU CAN!!! Moron.

“The whole reason coaches get fired and jobs become available is generally because a program has declined.’

Bama wrote the book on that one. Shula, Debose, Curry, Price………

“You can’t possibly be that stupid?”

Considering you can’t count or spell…………

Troglodyte much? Oh, go ahead ma’am, grab the dictionary and look that word up before you put your foot in your mouth again.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:48 pm

“If he couldn’t win at Miami then how is it the dolphins were on a 6 game winning streak ”

OH WOW!!!! A six game win streak!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait, no Super Bowl……..

Oh well….

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:48 pm

Troglodyte is someone who lives in a cave.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:49 pm

“Saban had already reached the pinnacle of college football by winning a national title.”

You mean, sharing a national title is the pinnacle of college football?

“And how many pro jobs typically became available where the team and franchise are winning and are in great shape?”

Not arguing that ma’am. I actually agree with you there.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:50 pm

“Troglodyte is someone who lives in a cave.”

YEEEEEE, you know who and where you live!!!!!!

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:51 pm

Forrest,

Given the speed of my response its pretty obvious I didn’t have to use a dictionary to look that one up. Child you’re not as bright as you think. And if there are is any poor spelling in my posts its due to typos and not spelling errors. Did you learn your big word of the day and decide to wear it out as much as you could? You definitely have some work to do as far as your thinking skills go.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:53 pm

Forrest,

I’ll be you live in a trailer. Double wide too! I’m right aren’t I?

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:54 pm

“Given the speed of my response its pretty obvious I didn’t have to use a dictionary to look that one up”

Yeah, cause it takes an average of 5.5 seconds to look words up on dictionary.com.

“Child you’re not as bright as you think.”

Duke alum, ma’am.

“Did you learn your big word of the day and decide to wear it out as much as you could?”

Nope, I learned that word in kindergarten to make fun of public school kids in Alabama.

“You definitely have some work to do as far as your thinking skills go.”

Whatever you say, ma’am.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:55 pm

“I’ll be you live in a trailer. ”

Grammar fail, ma’am.

“Double wide too! I’m right aren’t I?’

But ma’am, I didn’t go to the U of Bama. If I wanted to live in a trailer I’d have moved to Tuscaloser.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
7:58 pm

Forrest,

I know several Dook grads. You’re not smart enough to be a Duke grad. I can tell because your thinking skills are sorely lacking. You’re an AU grad if you even graduated. That’s why you’re so vociferous in your defense of AU. Do you need to look that word up child? The dook and Wake grads I know simply aren’t as childish as you. Not a one of em and that’s how I know you’re lying.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
7:58 pm

Tide Rising

It has truly been a hoot sparing with you. I have to go eat din din with my wife. I’ll be rooting for Bama come bowl season. I won’t like it but I’ll root for you gals to win another one against Ohio State or Nebraska…

Later, ma’am.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
8:00 pm

Forrest,

I’ll bet. Once again you just can’t tell the difference between a typo and truly poor grammar. You can’t type very fast either apparently.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
8:01 pm

“You’re not smart enough to be a Duke grad.”

Uh huh, you can tell all that by reading a blog about football. You must be big in the psychic world.

“You’re an AU grad if you even graduated. ”

Actually, my mom’s side all went to Auburn and my dad’s side went to Bama.

“Do you need to look that word up child?”

No ma’am I don’t. Learned me that werd in first grade.

“The dook and Wake grads I know simply aren’t as childish as you.”

Ever been to a basketball game?

“Not a one of em and that’s how I know you’re lying.’

If you can tell all that by reading a few comments on a blog then you need to go work for the CIA.

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
8:02 pm

Forrest,

I was thinking the same thing. I’ve got to go. But its been fun sparring with you (not sparing) and we will do so again.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
8:02 pm

“Once again you just can’t tell the difference between a typo and truly poor grammar.”

LOL! You still don’t get jokes do you ma’am?

“You can’t type very fast either apparently.”

OH NO!!!!!!! You hurt my whittle feelings! LOL

Tide Rising

May 17th, 2010
8:04 pm

Forrest,

I am a full time psychic and yes I am huge in the psychic world. For example I can already phropesize that Bama will destroy AU later in the year. My CIA job is just something I moonlight at. We’ll joust later.

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
8:06 pm

“Bama will destroy AU later in the year.”

Saban is sub par against Auburn. Just saying….

Beast from the East

May 17th, 2010
8:13 pm

OK, boys. It’s dinner time. Go wash up, eat dinner and then straight to bed. Don’t worry about that alligator under the bed. He only bites on Saturdays!

Forrest Gump is the most famous Bama grad

May 17th, 2010
8:16 pm

“He only bites on Saturdays!”

Urban is 0-2 against AU. Just sayin…

Delbert D.

May 17th, 2010
8:27 pm

Dag-nab-it! Just fingerprint all the student-athletes and scan all the dang money!

Beast from the East

May 17th, 2010
8:31 pm

“Urban is 0-2 against AU. Just sayin…”

That’s becuase he hasn’t gotten to play Cheesecake yet. Just sayin…

By the way, didn’t I tell you to go to bed?

PurgDemon

May 17th, 2010
8:38 pm

Re: SMU – actually that is mistaken, the Mustangs were far worse. I was on that 1985 team that was handed its original probation of 30 lost scholarships and no TV or Bowl appearances for two. I saw guys with money in their shoes after games, no kidding. After that original probation, then Texas Governor Bill Clements also sat on the Board of Trustees at SMU – and was one of the ones who recommended further payments to players. The NCAA founds out – BANG! RIP Ponies.

jumbeuxtiger

May 17th, 2010
8:47 pm

Tide Rising, is it safe to assume u didn’t get much done today at work or were u off? LOL, wow that’s some banter u have going on here today.

Getting back to Tony’s topic, with so many accusations on the West Coast, there has to be some truth to it and it sure appears to be a lack of institutional control. USC should get hammered as we all know if this was a SEC school, the NCAA would throw the book at them.

Saban didn’t make it in the NFL because he couldn’t control those primadonnas. His style works much better, obviously, in the college game. He wanted to try the pros and he did. So what, there are things we all may be very good at and other things we are not. He recognized it and, for him, made the right choice.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

Dashizz

May 17th, 2010
9:12 pm

Hell No! why punish the kids going to the school now……the coach is gone, reggie’s gone! Let is be, if you cant catch them while there at the school…..let it goe! NCAA Sucks!!!!!

G8R8U2

May 17th, 2010
9:15 pm

Of course they should have to vacate the Heisman and NC. The NCAA might not administer the BCS Trophy, but they do have control over wins and losses; so if they force USC to vacate wins, including the win against OU that got them the Trophy, then they no longer have a NC. Bush, who should have been ineligible, played in every single game that year. Both Bama and FSU have had to vacate all wins in which players who should have been ineligible played. The same thing should hold true for Bush; meaning USC would have to vacate all 13 wins from that season. Sorry, but you can’t have a National Champion that has 0 wins on the year.

Me

May 17th, 2010
9:46 pm

I’ll bet Forrest Gump really lives in Cali, maybe around the San Clemente area, and drives a truck with a Bulldawg on it…

Delbert D.

May 17th, 2010
9:55 pm

Sue Reggie Bush, sue the agent, sue the coaches…sue the NCAA…@#$% sue everybody, let the lawyers and judges sort it out.

Me

May 17th, 2010
9:58 pm

Tide Rising, Beast and et al…I believe you’ve been taken on an all day ride by the idiot himself. He cleverly stayed away from the statistical stew he brews up on a daily basis but go back and read the posts and some of the language. For instance, he’s the only clown who brings up the Urban Meyer 0-2 Auburn thing, because not even Aubie himself cares.And he uses the same deluted logic time and time and time again. He’ll post 94 times if responded to. Obviously he can operate a truck and a Droid at the same time.LOL I’m afraid that he’s been hidin’ behind a big war eagles wing all day.

Bama Bill

May 17th, 2010
10:03 pm

Absolutely ! Break the rules, get caught and suffer the consequences – this is a biggie !

Phillip

May 17th, 2010
10:13 pm

In my opinion their hiring of Kiffen is a slap in the face to the NCAA. He had several run-in’s with Slive and the NCAA during his tenure at UT.

bamaguy

May 17th, 2010
10:20 pm

Who cares about Southern Cal (the real USC is South Carolina). The only way a SEC team will play them is in a National Championship game. Let them sit on the left coast with their delusions of grandeur. If they want to pay that fool 4M a year, so be it.

Let’s get on with some real football in the SEC come September.