Though it took way too long for the Heisman Trophy Trust to come to the only right decision in the wake of the NCAA’s ruling that Saints running back Reggie Bush was ineligible to play college football for USC during the entire college football season in which he ultimately won the award given to the best player in (wait for it) college football, the folks responsible for the most recognized and prestigious individual award in all of football reportedly will be taking back Bush’s trophy.
The report comes from Charles Robinson and Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, who collaborated more than four years ago to break the news that Bush was being chased by prospective agents in San Diego for reimbursement of money and housing provided to his family in anticipation of Bush hiring the agents to handle his marketing rights.
Robinson and Cole report that the Heisman Trophy Trust’s investigation is “coming to a close,” and that it ultimately will agree with the NCAA’s conclusion regarding Bush’s eligibility.
They also report that the award will be left vacant for 2005. Titans quarterback Vince Young, who played at Texas, was the dominant choice as second place in the balloting, outpacing Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, and Michael Robinson. Though upset when Bush received the award, Young has privately said that he doesn’t want Bush’s Heisman.
Robinson and Cole explain that the Heisman Trophy Trust opted to move slowly, conducting its own investigation and considering carefully the implications of taking the Heisman away more than four years later. We also suspect that the powers-that-be wanted to give Bush every opportunity to do the right thing and give the trophy back without being asked to do so.
There’s still a chance that Bush will see the light. Given the stream of right-versus-might messages he posted last night on his Twitter page regarding the current labor situation in the NFL, Bush should direct some of that principled thinking to his own situation — and he should voluntarily relinquish the award.