He won the heisman trophy in 2005. His team won back to back national championships in 2003 and 2004. He would go second in the NFL draft (and probably should have gone first). He electrified the college game with every single ball that he touched. Reggie Bush is a once in a lifetime college football player. He is one of those players that comes along once in a decade that we will not forget because of the amazing things he could do on the football field. But was Reggie Bush the football saint that the college world made him out to be? It has come to light in recent days that Reggie Bush and his family may have accepted over 100,000 dollars from sports agents who were reportedly trying to lure Bush to become a client. But I don't want to focus necessarily on what Reggie Bush did here, it isn't like he would be the first student athlete to accept money. Instead I want to focus on what this is going to do to him and his old teammates at USC.
USC won an unprecendeted 34 games in row starting in 2003 and ending in 2005. USC finished as co-national champions in 2003 and won the outright championship in 2004 after blowing out Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Reggie Bush then won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. If these allegations are true there is a chance that Reggie Bush will cost USC their title in 2004 as he played a major role in getting the Trojans to the championship game that season. Think about all of the players on the team that will lose their championship ring because Bush decided to take money. Will they understand why Bush did this, or feel betrayed that they could not trust their star player? I am willing to guess there will be a large amount of resentment towards Bush from anyone he played on the field with at the time. Matt Leinart also played at USC and came out during the same draft as Bush did. However, we do not hear any allegations of Leinart taking money. He is in the same situation now as Bush is; In the pro's making large sums of money and living a good life. What is different between the two is Leinart did not put his team in jeopardy. Leinart made sure that it wasn't only about him but also about everyone else on that playing field.
My question to all of you as readers is: Is a player like Reggie Bush worth having if he is going to put the program in jeopardy? If Fresno State had a player like Bush and won national championships but had to forfeit them in the end would you still want him on the team? For me the answer is no. I would much rather have hard working players such as Marcus McCauley, Paul Williams, and Kyle Young who play every down like it is their last in college football. All three of these men will be drafted at the end of the season but play college football the way it should be played. Reggie Bush may be a special athlete, but if the end result is forfeiting everything your team accomplished over the past two seasons, then what is the point of acquiring stars like that in the first place if what they do in the end doesn't matter?