Blog Entry

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Posted on: June 30, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 9:09 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No, it does not look as if Reggie Bush has returned his Heisman Trophy to the Downtown Athletic Club just yet. And, yes, it's possible that he's not planning on returning it ... ever.

That's the conclusion reached by reading this Sports By Brooks post in which Brooks cites a "source" close to Bush's family claiming that Bush has already "decided" he won't be returning the nation's most famous athletics trophy after all. Bush said otherwise -- sort of -- back in September, but later handed the trophy over to the San Diego Hall of Champions museum rather than the DAC and the Heisman trust. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported June 9 that the trophy is still currently in the museum's possession.

So, yes, it seems clear Bush is either not intending to return the trophy (it having been nearly 10 months now since his announcement) or is simply getting his serious procrastinate on, and hoping everyone forgets about that little pledge in the meantime.

That's not happening, and so Bush is coming in for some finger-wagging and tut-tutting. But here's my question: Should Bush have ever agreed to return the trophy in the first place?

It's true that the trophy is entirely ill-gotten, the benefits lavished on Bush's family having made him ineligible long before he headed to New York to pick it up. It's true that giving it up would be the noble, sportsmanlike thing to do, the most genuine apology Bush could make for the transgressions that have hamstrung and tarnished his former USC program.

But it's not as if the Trust needs it for anything; they've made it clear they're not about to go back and award it to Vince Young. In fact, lost in the race to condemn Bush for not returning it is the little fact that, according to the Picayune, the Trust hasn't even asked for it.

Bush also technically never promised to give it back to begin with, saying that he would "forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005" rather than forfeit the actual piece of hardware itself. It's as weaselly as weasel words get, but you also can't argue he didn't leave himself an out.

So if he's not returning it so it can be handed off to someone else, or because he promised to, why are so many college football fans (and writers like Brooks) seemingly so hell-bent on seeing it forfeited? It's simple: we want Bush punished. He did wrong. It's not enough that his name is forever synonymous with scandal and sleaze, that's he's persona non grata at the school which used to adore him, that his name has already been stricken from the Heisman's record books. By breaking the NCAA's rules and then winning the trophy, he stole something from us (and, if you're a Texas fan, stole something from Young). And when you're caught stealing something, you give it back, right?

Right--which is why it's far, far from unfair for the Trust to ask for it returned if they want. But we're also talking about a hunk of metal won for accomplishments now six years in the rearview mirror, and if they're willing to simply move on, the rest of us should too. It would be nice, sure, if Bush was a big enough man to give the trophy up. But if he wants to be the much smaller man who desperately holds onto this one keepsake from from the scattered wreckage of his college football career as a drowning man does a piece of flotsam, I think we can be generous enough to let him.


Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:06 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Maybe he can have LenDale White return it for him.  White did all the heavy lifting at USC while Bush backed him up and got all the glory. 

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 9:23 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Garbage logic by Jerry Hinnen.  Reggie Bush paid back every penny and then some.  What good it being paid a $300K when you pay back $600K.  Reggie Bush earned it on the field.  The past Heisman winners should have been the ones to vote on whether Reggie Bush should have remained a Heisman trophy winner and a part of their fraternity.  Not a bunch of old men in suits on the "Heisman Trust Committee".  Reggie can give back his Trophy the day all the other Heisman winners that received "improper benefits" give back theirs.  Hmmmm...Charles Woodson ADMITTED to taking $100,000 from an agent.  Yet the Heisman Trust Committee hasn't said a word to him.  Keep the Trophy, Reggie!  Mr. Hinnen, stop crying over things out of your control.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 8:04 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Does USC ask its players to stay away from Kendall and Kylie Jenner when they are old enough to date football players?

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 5:42 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

So Reggie Bush breaks the rules and wins a trophy illigetimately and there is some expectation that this guy has the character to do the right thiing and return the ill-gotten hardware? 
I don't remember seeing Reggie's Old Man, running down the field in uniform, do you?

Last I heard, Jimmy Hoffa's kid was running the Teamster's Union.  Not doing jail time.
(I hope that didn't sail over too many heads.) 

Since: Sep 20, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2011 5:00 pm

Bush's Parents Hmmmmmmm?

Mr. Monar makes a point about where was the rest of his family gonna live and eat and such. Look at the economy right now and you know that this stuff has to really be going on with athletes and their families. Who knows what to do? Papa Joe walks into the weight room and is later informed that he committed a rules infraction; that's just rediculous. The coach can't walk around his own campus? How many of these folks don't get caught?

Way too much money in college sports that's the real problem.
I am not thinking that Bush was just given the trophy but had to work hard also and additionally have God given athletic ability. Parents were probably tired of living like crud and it is not against the law. Heck the olympics have pro athletes for a bunch of years now.

Keep the trophy you were the guy sweating, pumping iron, doing sprints, etc. Let the pesky sports writers go out onto the field and work hard for a chance at nothing in the end. Just cause you played ball doesn't mean the NFL is gonna give you money. Reggie was fun to watch when he was at USC; the pesky sports writers are not.

I 've wondered for awhile why the sports writers work so hard to call out some player; are they jealous or what? They couldn't make it on the field so they gotta bring someone down?     

Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 4:17 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

So Reggie bush breaks the rules and wins a trophy illigetimately and there is some expectation that this guy has the character to do the right thiing and return the ill-gotten hardware?   Let it go...  What is Reggie going to do...go around showing his trophy saying he won the Heisman (tehcnically he did -but he forfeited his title -whatever that means!)Reggie can claim he has the Heisman but in my world I KNOW better....whether he has a chunk of metal or not is really irrelevant. 

Perhaps rather than displaying it in San Diego he could give it to USC - I am sure they would display it prominantly as a significant part of the history of their illustrious football program.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:53 pm

Reggie Bush's Parents Are Guilty...

"Wow Dad.  You know that is a violation of the NCAA rules."

"Gotta live somewhere.  Dude is willing to pay."

"Ok Dad."

Don't give it back Reggie.  Make them come and "get it."  New York wimps will never come for it.    Wink

Since: Nov 21, 2010
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:52 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Reggie Bush is not the first USC Heisman Trophy Winner to associate himself with the Kardashian family.  Robert Kardashian was one of O.J. Simpson's lawyers back in 1994-1995.

Since: Aug 15, 2007
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:23 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

He should give it up!!  He received it based on all of his on field accomplishments while he was breaking the law.  And while he's at it, he should have give back that multi-million dollar career that he received based on his on file d accomplishment while he was breaking the law.  Yeah, don't hold your breath for either....he earned both, he should keep both.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:20 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

USC should not associate itself with the Kardashian family again.

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