Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Report: Reggie Bush to be stripped of Heisman Trophy

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday that 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of the award by the end of the month

The former Southern Cal running back would become the first player in the 75-year history of the award to have the Heisman Trophy taken away. The report also said the award would be left vacant for ‘05.

The NCAA found major violations in USC’s football program and levied serious sanctions against the school in June.


The website cited two anonymous sources close to the Heisman Trophy Trust, who say the group’s investigation is almost complete and would agree with the NCAA’s finding that Bush was ineligible during the ‘05 season.


Yeah well, the Saints fan I've been cultivating within myself recently is a bit bummed about this, but the burnt orange blood filling my veins for years now is making me outraged that there appears to be not even a consideration of giving the damned trophy to Vince Young. That's one of many reasons that this kind of bullshit cheating in college football is so fucking lame: it fucks over everybody. Young played incredible football that year and Bush getting the award instead, in the end, was about the ultra-subjective whims of Heisman voters, which are as subject to marketing and sports writer hype as actual performance on the field. That is, VY deserved it just as much as RB, and came in second in the voting. Just fucking give it to him; why should he be punished, too?

Like I said, cheating fucks over everybody. What if the 'Horns hadn't managed to pull it off in the national championship game? They would have been fucked, too. Just like Hawaii, Arkansas, Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona, Notre Dame, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Cal, Fresno State, and UCLA, pretty much the entire 2005 USC schedule, were fucked. It's a bit late to tell all those teams, "Oh yeah sorry, you guys actually beat USC." No way to recalculate the rankings. No way to send somebody else to the 2006 Rose Bowl. Indeed, the current USC roster, composed almost entirely of guys who had absolutely nothing to to with the cheating back in '05, is fucked, too. No chance of winning the Pac-10 for them. No bowl game. Same with their new coach. Of course, asshole-in-cheat, Coach Pete Carroll, is on to the greener pastures of the NFL, leaving his successor to deal with all the toxic fallout.

Yeah, they're punishing USC now, but it's mostly affecting people who didn't do anything wrong.

My older brother once told me a brief story that I haven't managed to verify, but it sounds right. Legendary Texas Longhorn Coach Darrell Royal resigned his position in 1976, while he was in his prime. Why did he do this? The way my brother, also a Longhorn, tells it, then Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe summoned Royal to his office and instructed him to beat OU at all costs, even though the Sooners were cheating in as many ways as they could imagine at that point, which eventually cost Coach Barry Switzer his job later in the 1980s. The understanding was that Briscoe was telling Royal to play as dirty as his opponent. Royal, a man of dignity and integrity, resigned instead. It took a few years, but, in the face of widespread cheating at both OU and Texas A&M, and without Royal, Texas fell into a decline: it would take nearly two decades for the Longhorns to regain their dominant position in college football.

Cheating, as well as the pressure to cheat, punished the Texas Longhorns for many many years. And they did nothing to deserve it.

The more I think about this the more pissed off I get. Anyway, hook 'em 'Horns!

Darrell Royal, 1965.

BONUS: My old pal Matt, also a Longhorn, dug up a short and brilliant poem by the great English playwright Harold Pinter that profoundly captures the spirit of American football. Indeed, it's titled simply "American Football." Go check it out. It's brilliant.