Heisman Voter: Strip Bush If He’s Ruled Ineligible

Heisman Trophy voter Tom Shatel of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD has made up his mind what he will advocate if the coming soon-NCAA ruling on possible sanctions for the USC football program determines Reggie Bush was ineligible for his Heisman Trophy-winning 2005 season.

Vince Young and Reggie Bush after Bush won the Heisman Trophy

(Could V.Y. still claim the Heisman from ‘05?)

(Do I) agree with stripping Reggie Bush of his Heisman if Bush was found to be ineligible by the NCAA for the 2005 season in which he won the award? … Yes.

I think we should have higher standards for national awards like this. I think the Heisman should and does stand for something bigger than scoring touchdowns. I think it’s absolutely okay to charge every winner with upholding the honor of this award their entire lives. And if they weren’t even eligible when they won it, that’s more than fair game.

Shatel’s opinion was based on a question from Jason Cole and Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, who are polling all of the Heisman voters on the matter. Cole and Robinson were the first to break the news of Bush allegedly receiving improper benefits from two sports marketing agents while still in school at USC.

In addition to his advocating Bush be stripped of the Heisman Trophy, Shatel took the situation a very interesting step further.

But I also replied that this might be a better way to handle it: Have the Heisman Foundation folks send an email to every Heisman voter asking them to vote for one of the following:

1. Bush should be able to keep the Heisman.
2. Bush should have his Heisman stripped and the award should be vacated for that year.
3. Bush should have his Heisman stripped and it should go to the runner-up that year, in this case Vince Young of Texas.

I would vote No. 2. My only problem with handing it to the runner-up is that, in any given year, the runner-up may not have deserved the Heisman that year and just ended up second.

I’d vote to give the award to Young. How many system-QB slugs have won the award over the years? What made them “deserving” of the honor?

Based on that logic, you could argue that there have been many seasons when nobody deserved the award.

Though I do agree and admire Shatel’s stance on stripping Bush of the Heisman Trophy. If Bush ends up being ruled ineligible for the ‘05 season by the NCAA, you can guarantee that USC will be forced to vacate wins from that season.

Can you imagine Bush still being noted as the official winner of the award after that?