On Monday, the BCS stipped USC of its 2004 national title. The move represents the school’s consequences for the money-and-or-things-of-value transactions that rendered former Trojans/current Saints tailbackReggie Bush ineligible.
Last year, Bush decided to give up his 2005 Heisman Trophy, under a fairly clear threat that it would have been taken from him involuntarily. Although USC has packed up its version of the statue and sent it back to the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, Bush apparently hasn’t.
Our good friend Paul Pabst of The Dan Patrick Show, setting aside his Executive Producer hat and donning the disguise of a reporter, writes that Bush’s version of the award has not yet made its way back to Manhattan.
Pabst explains that Bush’s trophy had been on display at the San Diego Hall of Champions. After the decision was made that the trophy would be returned, “Reggie Bush’s dad came in right after and took it,” a member of management at the San Diego Hall of Champions told Pabst. “That’s the last we saw of it.”
The folks at the Downtown Athletic Club apparently have made no effort to force the issue, and possibly never will. And perhaps Bush never intended to give up the hardware itself. Consider the exact words from his press release:
“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.”
Forfeit his title? Yes. Actually surrender a chunk of bronze that could eventually fetch a ton of money on eBay? Maybe not.
The fact is that the trophy apparently never will be returned, if neither the Downtown Athletic Club nor anyone else places pressure on Bush to make it happen.
Reggie? It’s time to make good on your word and give back the trophy.