As the first college football season following the determination by the NCAA that Saints running back Reggie Bush forfeited his eligibility by getting paid while playing college football at USC approaches, the head coach of the player who finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy that Bush won is making the preseason media rounds — and in so doing throwing a roundhouse at Reggie.
As explained by our corporate cousins at CFT, Texas coach Mack Brown told Dan Patrick on Monday that, if the Heisman Trophy Trust takes back the trophy that, for whatever reason, Bush can’t or won’t surrender on his own, the award should go to former Longhorn quarterback Vince Young.
Brown took it a step farther, arguing that if the voting had been deferred until after the bowl season in 2005, Young would have won the Heisman outright.
In this regard, Brown is right. Young had a game for the ages, and Bush’s so-so showing included an ill-advised lateral that resulted in a turnover.
Brown says that Heisman officials have explained that they don’t want to delay the voting because it would create an inconsistency. The powers-that-be believe that, if the voting had been delayed in the past, the outcome would have been different.
But that’s Brown’s point. The outcome would be — and in some cases should be — different based on the completion of the college football season. So, apparently, the Heisman Trophy Trust will continue to justify a substandard and incomplete process out of respect to those who benefited from the substandard and incomplete process in the past.
Meanwhile, the Heisman Trophy Trust apparently will continue to take its sweet time in assessing whether or not the 2005 edition of the award should be recovered from a player who has been determined retroactively ineligible to play in every game of the season in which he won it.
Maybe it’s a good thing that these people are responsible for a relatively meaningless award. If they had any influence over the things in society that really mattered, we’d be far more screwed up than we already are.