New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush is about to become the first Heisman winner ever to have his trophy stripped from him, according to a story on Yahoo! Sports. In June, the NCAA punished the football program at Bush's alma mater, University of Southern California, for seven major violations, centering around Bush's acceptance of cash, housing, and other valuable perks from sports marketers — conduct that retroactively make him ineligible for the prize. The Heisman Trust denies that it's decided to take back his trophy, but should they? (Watch an AP report about the Reggie Bush rumor)
Bush is just a "scapegoat": What would stripping Bush's Heisman prove? asks Jemele Hill at ESPN. Should his ho-hum NCAA violations make him less eligible for the "most prestigious individual award in college football" than convicted criminals like O.J. Simpson and Billy Cannon, who still have their trophies? No, Bush earned his Heisman, and he shouldn't be punished for falling afoul of the NCAA's "broken system."
"Reggie Bush should keep Heisman"
He should give it back: Top NCAA football is "an unseemly universe of exploitation," says William Rhoden in The New York Times, but Bush isn't blameless. USC was harshly punished for Bush's transgressions, and "he should share in USC's shame." Besides, his "tarnished" Heisman represents his "being bought," and if Bush has "a sense of honor," or even "any self-respect," he'll give back his Heisman voluntarily.
"Bush should give the Heisman back"
Strip Bush of his "crown," then pass it on: Bush broke the rules, and the Hiesman Trust should take his trophy, says Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports. But who cares? The Heisman is the Miss America of college football, based more on gimmicky marketing than skill. Bush was the best player in 2005, but like a beauty pageant, once Bush is unable to fulfill his duties, the crown should go to the runner up. Congratulations, "Mr. Heisman" Vince Young!
"Bush's crown should go to Young"
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