Leinart shrugs at expunged USC wins

Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, who led the USC offense during a period of unprecedented excellence that has been virtually completely erased by the NCAA due to a conclusion that the school knew or should have known that tailback Reggie Bush was getting paid, has opted to ignore the fact that many of those wins have been transformed after the fact into losses.

“People can say whatever they want but we still played every game the way
we had to, we beat almost every team we played and, to me, no one will
ever be able to take that away
,” Leinart said recently, per Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  “I’ve talked to a lot of
people I played with on those teams and we all say the same thing.  
Everyone who knows football knows we won those games and we won the
title.  It’s unfortunate what happened and you move on from it but I just
feel for the guys who are there now but they’ll move on from it.”

Yes, they’ll move on.  But when they move out, they’ll lack the same hardware and accomplishments that were enjoyed by Leinart’s USC teams, thanks to the sanctions arising from the actions of the program when Leinart and Reggie played.

“It won’t affect how they play on the field but it might be hard with
recruiting,” Leinart said.  “The thing about Lane [Kiffin] and his coaching staff,
they’re all great recruiters so I still think they’re still going to
get great recruits but it might be a tough period the next couple of
years but they’re still going to be competitive.  Once the ban is off I
think they’ll be back where they were before, playing in title games
almost every year.”

Leinart’s reference to recruiting confirms, in a roundabout way, the importance of the penalties that the NCAA imposed.  Though the payments made by outsiders to Bush don’t represent direct cheating by USC, the fact that Bush was getting paid without scrutiny or interference from the school creates an environment that is more attractive to recruits who hope to get paid without scrutiny or interference from the school.

And, yes, the same thing happens at plenty of other schools.  But in Bush’s case it was blatant, and no one would have known about any of it if he’d merely settled up with Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake before they had to sue him.

That’s why we’re astounded by the ongoing loyalty that guys like Leinart (who said he’s “proud” of Bush) and former coach Pete Carroll (who has said repeatedly he’s not mad at Bush) demonstrate to the guy who made this mess.  Bush created the problem, and then he had a chance to clean it all up and to save everyone connected with the program a significant amount of hardship and turmoil, and Bush was too cheap or too arrogant or too hard-headed to do what he ultimately did after the championship hit the fan — repay the money he received.

34 responses to “Leinart shrugs at expunged USC wins

  1. Not a USC fan really but not a hater either.. I enjoyed watching them play over the years and although Bush did make this mess – in a way, the school HAD to know and i blame the school and coach..however i find it hard to blame anybody because this happens in schools all over the country…. and although i think leinart is a crap nfl player, any rules that were broken, didnt really give the a competitive advantage to actually play the games and they still dominated… This, if nothing else, is a black eye on the U. not the players…. well maybe the coach too who, IMHO had to know what was going on

  2. “Move on” has just topped my list of completely annoying and overused phrases (replacing “whatever”) It has become the go to phrase of every douchebag who gets caught red handed being a douchebag.
    “Yes, I’ve murdered 100 innocent people but I want to move on from that.”
    It was Belichick’s response to getting caught cheating and luckily for him Goodell in an inexplicably cynic and duplicious move destroyed all the evidence a nanosecond after receiving it so he could.

  3. There you go, Saints fan. Enjoy your title. Hopefully, karma makes it your last one.
    And in further news: “Fed Up” is now king of all douches. D-bags, bow to your soggy king!

  4. dear flo….anything, ANYTHING Cardinal related sure gets your panties in a bunch….Leinart is correct, they beat whoever was put in front of them.

  5. Ahh yes, Bush should fork over all the money he received.
    Thereby exposing exactly how much he received to open the investigation for more scrutiny.
    Florio, I know you’re a sensationalist and that’s how you generate views, but too often you are downright stupid.
    P.S. you still owe me an autographed copy of QBOTF ahole.

  6. I agree with LB240. This is like the winner of the World Series of Poker in 2004 being found out on videotape as a cheater who pocketed cards in order to win and saying, “I still played the game I had to in order to win the championship.” It’s a morally bankrupt approach to competition.
    “Everyone who knows football knows we won those games and we won the title” is Leinart’s defense? Maybe we have given too much credit to Pete Carroll. His influence might not have been so great. Maybe he just has a talent for recruiting players who match his level of dignity and integrity. Bush can’t man up, admit he cheated and try to mitigate the damage to his teammates. Leinart accepts undeserved accolades as his right. And the ringleader, Carroll, skips town to avoid any personal consequences. All praise the champs!
    Good luck with that piece of crap, Seahawk fan!

  7. Let me just do a minor edit or two on the first couple paragraphs to let PFT see what Leinart is really saying:
    ****
    Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, who led the USC offense during a period of unprecedented excellence that has been virtually completely erased by the NCAA… has opted to ignore the fact that many of those wins have been transformed after the fact into losses.
    “People can say whatever they want but I got mine, and that’s the important thing,” Leinart said recently.

  8. “# azredbird4 says: July 17, 2010 10:29 AM
    Leinart is correct, they beat whoever was put in front of them.”
    _____________________________________
    You seem to have forgotten the Texas game. It was kind of an important one.

  9. yes ur right about the texas game.. bush technically should have been ineligible, which in turn renders the longhorns victory to be nullified…..so vince young becomes the #3 over all pick on a game that was in all aspects, a scrimmage……. interesting…. guess the texans werent so stupid in taking williams after all

  10. I would be feeling completely different about this if the punishment was over steroid use- THAT is real cheating, but for the big business NCAA to say that their student-athletes are not able to make money off of their noteriety is pretty ridiculous….
    Reggie bush made his money- I can’t fault him for that- worth much more than whatever “education” he received

  11. This is the Matt Leinart who, after watching Vince Young take over the Rose Bowl and beat the team so many ESPN hypemongers had crowned the greatest team in college football history, went out of his way to proclaim that USC was still the better team.
    Hey, Matt, since apparently winning doesn’t mean you’re the better team, maybe USC wasn’t necessarily so good anyway? And maybe winning all those games while cheating means even less?

  12. “It’s unfortunate what happened”
    No Matt, you’re way off base. It’s not unfortunate, it’s cheating. But what do you expect from the kind of scumbag who would use a handicapped placard to park his car closer while he was an undergrad. I guess Leinart thinks the rules only apply if you get caught. Well Mr. Draft Bust, your team got caught!

  13. Leinart is an idiot. “His” Cardinals will struggle and all his “success” at USC will not make a bit of difference in the NFL. Kurt Warner is gone Matt, so say goodbye to the playoffs. “Your” team will struggle as long as you are under center, so get used to 8-8.
    He, along with most of the graduates of the University of Spolied Children (USC), have this strange sense of entitlement. Maybe if they would have played within the rules and won their games fair and square… then we could have commended them for their accomplishments.
    For some reason Pete C., Matt L., Reggie B. etc.. didn’t seem to think the rules applied to their team. News flash, the rules apply to all the teams in the NCAA, even USC.

  14. Leinart is such a plug. I’ve always thought USC was overrated. Look at the pac-10. Pack of losers. And now we find out they cheated just to win in that crappy conference. And Leinart saying, basically, “Yeah we cheated. So what? We won didn’t we?” Now we know why Carroll was such a “great” coach. I can’t wait to see him flounder in the NFL.

  15. The hypocrisy of Carroll, Bush and Leinart is just astounding. And Carroll going around hawking a book about winning?
    I guess if Matt Millen can get a job as a football analyst…

  16. so we are just supposed to forget those games were ever played? so when these games are replayed on ESPN Classic and ESPNU, what are we supposed to think?

  17. if i were leinart,i would be looking over my shoulder at this project qb the cardinals drafted by the name of skelton.
    this guy came out of the fordham university program,no sense of entitlement there.the league that fordham plays in,is a hard scabble group of colleges.i’m assuming skelton has not picked up any of leinart’s annoying posing.
    i hope skelton is successful.

  18. I think that this is ridiculous they are spending to much time investigating this Reggie Bush thing. I am a USC fan and I would bet my life he was paid to play there but then again I bet at least half of the best starters in the NCAA are being paid off. And they are focusing to much on one player and are not seeing how corrupt the whole NCAA is lol. Hasn’t everyone seen Blue Chips yeah its about basketball but that movie right there is a true movie. Maybe not the players or anything like that but the scandals that go on in it are as true as life itself.

  19. Punishment for Leinhart should consist of him being suspended by the Cardinals and letting Derek Anderson start. Nevermind……I don’t hate the Cardinals that much…too severe a punishment to lose every game this season.

  20. B The Philly Guy says:
    July 17, 2010 2:04 PM
    I think that this is ridiculous they are spending to much time investigating this Reggie Bush thing. I am a USC fan and I would bet my life he was paid to play there but then again I bet at least half of the best starters in the NCAA are being paid off.
    ———————————
    Like the article said, he double crossed the guys that paid him so they sued him. Hard for the NCAA to look the other way on this one. I’m sure they don’t want the negative pub something like this brings down on college sports.

  21. The NCAA is about as anal as an organization can be in my view. I don’t much care what they say about anything. But the schools love to take in the millions of bucks, don’t they? I suspect a lot of top college players rankle at the “free” years they have to give the system to get to the treasure chest.

  22. The last thing I am is a USC fan or Reggie Bush fan, but please…
    Without Bush they would’ve won those games just the same.
    As a Washington guy, I understand the desire by all fans of SC-pummeled teams to jump on the “USC didn’t REALLY beat my team after all” bandwagon, but give it up. They were the best with or without him.
    Stop looking for ways to excuse your teams from getting creamed by SC during those years.
    Bunch of sore losers.

  23. I’M NOWHERE NEAR A USC FAN, BUT THIS IS FUNNY…….
    HIM GETTING PAID DID NOT EFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THOSE GAMES.
    IS IT AGAINST THE NCAA RULES….. YEP. DID IT ALTER THE GAME…… NOPE.
    WHO CARES, IT HAPPENS AT ALL THE BIG PROGRAMS, BUT USC WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO BE THE ONE THAT GOT CAUGHT.

  24. I agree with Leinart – who cares?! Those games are long since done with. I’d LOVE it if my school, the U of MN, won the national title and 5-years later someone said “oh, by the way it didn’t happen”. Who cares???!!!

  25. They also regretted to inform Leinart and Bush that they never banged all those Cali co-eds while they were there either. Expunged from the records.

  26. Derek,
    How about you stop assuming you know anything about the people commenting, when clearly you do not?
    USC never beat my team, and my team has won a couple of titles since they last won squat.
    The whole idea of sports is for two teams or players to compete on a level playing field to see who won.
    USC was scared to do that, so they cheated, and are now getting the backlash they richly deserve.
    Kids doing stupid crap is one thing, a concerted effort to cheat and then cover it up is quite another.
    And true to their charactors, Bush was more worried about himself and Carroll ran and hid in Seattle.
    These are the acts of LOSERS, not champions…

  27. BlitzburghGator,
    How about you stop assuming that Carroll knew what was going on?
    Isn’t that just as presumptive as my assumption that people on here are fans of USC-opposing teams?
    “USC was scared?” LOL! Of what? Who?
    “A concerted effort to cheat?” Really? Where was that in the investigation? On Bush’s part, sure…but Carroll?
    Who’s making the assumptions here? Or are you just a sheep following the rest of the haters out there?
    “Everyone’s calling him a cheat, so I’m gonna too!”
    Think for yourself, genius.

  28. And by the way BlitzburghGATOR,
    In addition to the “USC didn’t REALLY beat my team after all” crew, I forgot to mention the “Yay! Now I can say that my team was the only true champion in the last ten years” gang.
    Sorry to leave you out the first time.

  29. Oh, and Urban Meyer’s never been under any scrutiny for his recruiting tactics, right?

  30. The problem here is that everyone is lumping the same types of cheating into the same bucket. What Bush did had no effect on his performance. Furthermore, the games have been played and cannot be unplayed. Taking wins away is petty, stupid and has no bearing on reality. Oklahoma was waxed in the championship game and no idiot at the NCAA can take that away. 30 years from now, we’ll still be talking about how the Sooners got their ass handed to them and how Texas and SC played to the wire and no NCAA sanction is going to change that. The NCAA should simply throw away removal of wins as a punishment. Scholarships, bowl appearances and financial fines actually mean something. Taking away wins does not.

  31. 34swtns says:
    July 17, 2010 10:26 AM
    There you go, Saints fan. Enjoy your title. Hopefully, karma makes it your last one.
    —————————————————————–
    I don’t see what this has to do with the Saints winning the Super Bowl.
    Anyway, when they win about 2 more…will you go away?

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