Heisman Trust Cites ‘Reputation’ In Stripping Bush

Charles Robinson and Jason Cole of YAHOO SPORTS report Tuesday:

OJ Simpson Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Trophy Trust is expected to strip former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush of college football’s top honor by the end of September, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Bush would become the first player in the 75-year history of the award to have the trophy taken away. The NCAA found major violations in the Trojans’ football program in June and levied serious sanctions against the school.

Two sources close to the Heisman trust said the body’s investigation is coming to a close, and will ultimately concur with the NCAA’s determination that Bush was ineligible during his Heisman-winning season in 2005. Because of that independent conclusion, sources said the trust will relieve Bush of the award and leave the honor for that season vacant.

Two factors outweighed all others, sources said: The Heisman ballot necessitates candidates be in compliance with NCAA bylaws and concern over the Heisman’s reputation in the wake of the NCAA findings against Bush

I’m all for stripping Bush of his Heisman Trophy, but the whole concept of needing to concur with the NCAA investigation and “concern over the Heisman’s reputation” is a farce.

If the Heisman’s “reputation” was reportedly a factor in vacating Bush’s award, why does O.J. Simpson still have his Heisman Trophy? Likewise convicted counterfeiter Billy Cannon?

And if you read the NCAA investigative report, it’s clear that though Bush technically (and egregiously) broke NCAA rules, the link between Bush’s extra benefits and USC actually knowing what was going on was murky at best.

No, what caused Bush to have his Heisman taken away was media documentation of his astonishing impropriety. Without Charles Robinson and Jason Cole reporting what Bush did, there’s a very good chance USC and Bush would’ve received zero penalties.