Bush’s Only Biggest Defenders: Jaworski, Gruden

Last night on ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast, play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico asked ESPN NFL analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski what they thought of Reggie Bush forfeiting his Heisman Trophy last week.

Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden

Despite Bush being ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the 2005 season, which retroactively violated a Heisman Trophy bylaw required of a Heisman winner, both said it was unfortunate that Bush had to return the 2005 award.

Ron Jaworski on Bush giving back the Heisman:

“I think it’s (giving back the Heisman) the wrong thing to do. He won the Heisman with his play on the field. I know there was a lot of pressure on him. He wanted to put this behind him.

He decided to give the trophy back but he earned that trophy. When is the Heisman suppose to be an enforcement agency for the scholar athletes or student athletes? He won the award, he should keep it.”

Jon Gruden on Bush giving back the Heisman: Read more…

Former USC Asst. Snaps: Calls Bush “An Idiot”

Friday, finally, we got an appropriately exasperated reaction from a member of the 2005 USC coaching staff to Reggie Bush’s handling of the recent forfeiture of the Heisman Trophy. And that reaction didn’t come from just any member of that staff.

Steve Sarkisian calls Reggie Bush an idiot, again

University of Washington head football coach Steve Sarkisian was assisant head coach and co-offensive coordinator of the USC Trojans in 2005, the year Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy at USC.

Friday Sarkisian said of Bush, who Thursday asserted that his returning of the Heisman Trophy was “not an admission of guilt“: Read more…

Bush: Returning Heisman ‘Not Admission Of Guilt’

Reggie Bush spoke to the New Orleans media after Saints practice today and further addressed his forfeiting the Heisman Trophy earlier this week.

(Audio of Bush comments below)

When asked if relinquishing the award was an “admission of guilt”, Bush said:

“It’s definitely not an admission of guilt. It’s me showing my respect to the Heisman Trophy and to the people who come before me and the people who come after me. You’re going to keep hearing the same thing because that’s what it is. It’s not an admission of guilt it’s me feeling like this is the best thing for me and the Heisman Trust right now.”

Bush added that his mother and stepfather, Denise and LaMar Griffin, did not want him to return the Heisman Trophy.

“It’s the motherly and fatherly nature of parents. But they understand at the end of the day. That I’m a grown man and I got to make my own decisions and this is a learning experience and for anybody else coming after me.”

It was Bush’s mother and stepfather who, by the use of a San Diego home provided by sports marketing agent Michael Michaels, rendered Bush retroactively ineligible for the 2005 USC football season. Read more…

Heisman Winner Took NFL’s $10K While At LSU

On Monday Reggie Bush forfeited his Heisman Trophy four years after the revelation that he took extra benefits from two marketing agents while still at USC.

Billy Cannon took $10,500 from NFL team while still at LSU

It’s reasonable to surmise that Bush gave up the 2005 award because he was made aware or had a strong suspicion that he was going to be stripped of it anyway. We were all tipped off to that distinct possibility by a recent Yahoo Sports report asserting that Bush would be “relieved” of the Heisman before September was out.

As part of that prophetic report, Yahoo noted that the Heisman Trophy Trust used the following criteria to decide that it would strip Bush of the award:

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.

Never in the history of the award has the trust been forced to retroactively rule on the eligibility of a past winner.

So Bush was effectively stripped of the Heisman Trophy because he tarnished the reputation of the award by taking extra benefits from an agent while at USC - rendering him retroactively ineligible for the Heisman.

With that as the Heisman Trust’s criteria for stripping Bush of the 2005 honor, why hasn’t 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon had his award take away?

Thanks to 1960 California federal court records, it’s an acknowledged fact that Cannon fulfills the same criteria that the Heisman Trust used to, for all intents and purposes, revoke Bush’s award. Read more…

Reggie Bush Officially Gives Up Heisman Trophy

Reggie Bush released a statement on the New Orleans Saints website confirming today that he is giving up his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Reggie Bush in 2006: He did nothing wrong

One of the greatest honors of my life was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005. For me, it was a dream come true.

But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.

It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005. The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting. In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals. Nor should it distract from outstanding performances and hard-earned achievements either in the past, present or future. Read more…