July 20th, 2010 at 5:43 PM ^

How noble of them.

"We'll give this trophy back... but we will forever deny anyone at USC, besides the recipient of this trophy, ever knew of any wrongdoing.  So, we're all good now, right?"

Now do the right thing and take down the championship banners you won using your cheating Heisman winner


July 20th, 2010 at 5:48 PM ^

While I completely agree with this...I'm not sure it's fair to call Bush a cheater.  He didn't cheat at games.  He worked just as hard for it and he was good.  Did he follow regulations?  Umm...no...so that'll cost you your Heisman.  But he didn't cheat at the games, so I don't know if cheater is the correct word.

Maybe that's just my way of seeing it...do people really consider this cheating (at the GAME alone, not regulations)?


July 20th, 2010 at 6:09 PM ^

I make this same point below...but this hits home w/ our school.  Do you think UofM basketball as a whole had a competitive advantage with Chris Webber on the court?  Do you think the $200k+ he rec'd played a factor in his decision to play at UofM?  No one knows for sure but it sure as hell didn't hurt.  Point being, CWebb may not be a cheater, but the school was a cheater for letting an inelligible player suit up.


July 20th, 2010 at 6:23 PM ^

Right.  USC had an advantage because it was able to recruit a higher caliber of player because those players may have believed that by going to USC they'd be able to earn both a scholarship and a significant amount of money on the side. 


July 20th, 2010 at 9:32 PM ^

Not players, one player.  Reggie Bush took money from wannabe agents.  Then unlike, say, Charles Woodson, he refused to sign with those guys and never paid back the money they gave him.

If Marion Darnell Jones (who was at the Heisman ceremony for Woodson) had had an axe to grind and been the star witness in an NCAA investigation, we could easily have been in the exact same boat as USC.

And Lloyd Lake, the convicted felon who paid Bush and had an axe to grind after Bush refused to sign with him or pay him back, the guy who was the lone/star witness for the NCAA prosecution, was adamant that he never met or spoke to Pete Carroll.  Don't see any reason for him to make that up.


July 20th, 2010 at 10:26 PM ^

I should have been more specific in my analysis of Pete Carroll. He might or might not have been immediately aware of Reggie Bush receiving ancillary benefits and, let's be clear, only the Bush allegations were investigated by the NCAA...but, I need to ask...how is it that Joe McKnight's girlfriend got a sweetheart deal on a Range Rover? Was Pete aware of Brian Cushing's or Clay Matthews steroid use? I guess not since he issud a press release indicating it was "unfathomable".

Sure, one player got investigated and came up dirty; but it sure seems like the whole culture at USC was tainted.


July 20th, 2010 at 11:13 PM ^

Cushing is the only guy to test positive since leaving SC (Matthews has just been rumoured about because he went from walk-on to first rounder).  To me one guy over the course of a decade doesn't equal widespread PED cheating.  The Ting brothers tested positive at SC and were promptly booted off campus, so it isn't like they weren't testing.  McKnight's girlfriend's boss (a Washington alum trying to make money being McKnight's agent) helped her get financing for the car.  When the story went public and the school found out about it, McKnight was immediately persona non grata, never played again, and entered the draft a year early.

If this is the extent of the cheating unearthed after all the scrutiny SC has received the last few years, then they really sucked at cheating.

Does any of it amount to the kind of direct and widespread booster payouts at Miami (under the watchful eye of current NCAA Committee on Infractions chairman Paul Dee) or Alabama where the punishment was less severe?  No.  Does it even amount to boosters paying Troy Smith and Maurice Clarett riding around in cars provided by a dealership run by an OSU booster where there was zero punishment?  I don't think so, though the amount of money in the Bush cash could lead to an argument that they are sort of comparable I suppose.

With the same sorts of numbers, you could make a case that Lloyd Carr ran an "outlaw" program between Larry Harrison flashing people and Marlin Jackson socking people on the head with bottles and Kevin Grady's (who he recruited) epic DUI and Adrian Arrington roughing up his girlfriend and Kelly Baraka and the number of players we all know smoked tons of weed and Boubacar Cissoko (who he recruited) and that is just some of the widely reported, uncontested stuff.

But nobody would ever buy that argument (especially here) because the perception about Carr is just different.  I just think Pete Carroll's tenure has been painted with an extremely unfair brush simply because of the fact that Reggie Bush refused to pay back Lake and Michaels.


July 20th, 2010 at 9:22 PM ^

If Michigan was so cooperative, how come it took over a decade and required a series of federal court proceedings to get the truth out?

Fisher (and the prior U-M coaching staff) had a longstanding relationship with Ed Martin (documented by gifts, phone records, and tickets) who paid multiple players.  Feel free to read such "biased" media sources as The Michigan Daily if you doubt me.


Other than Mike Garrett talking out of his ass, the guilt level between the two scandals is light year's apart if you study both closely.


July 21st, 2010 at 9:04 AM ^

Since neither the University nor the Athletic Department are a court of law, they don't have any ability to subpoena, question under oath, etc. When NCAA and University investigators first asked the coaches and players about Ed Martin, they were stone-walled or lied to, (which amounts to the same thing). Further, by that time, neither the University nor the NCAA had any jurisdiction over the players, who had left the program for the NBA. It wasn't until federal prosecutors began investigating Ed Martin on money laundering and illegal gambling, (in 1999) and former U-M players were subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury, that hard evidence (as opposed to rumor and innuendo) surfaced.

Webber damn-near went to prison for initially lying to the grand jury, (he claimed he had not had any financial dealings with Martin, but finally confessed to accepting loans totalling more than $250K). If you recall, Fisher was dismissed from his head coaching position as a direct result of the investigation. By then, it was 1997, several years after the Fab Five played for U-M.


July 21st, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

In 1997 players like Traylor were still on the take (my point was that the Ed Martin scandal was not an isolated incident but a decade long pattern of paying players before and after they arrived on campus, as the Daily article documents).  Though the school administration eventually took the positive step of firing Fisher, I equate (as does the NCAA) the entire basketball coaching staff and their actions with the actions of the university.  Any oversight or insistence on rigorous compliance by the university would have uncovered Martin's role in the program long before the NCAA started poking their nose into things.


July 21st, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

I couldn't find a source, unfortunately, but I believe the university was key in getting Fisher's testimony public.  Without that, there would have been basically no real evidence against the university.


July 20th, 2010 at 6:06 PM ^

I do agree to some extent...Bush is not necessarily a cheater.  However USC is a cheater and the atmosphere of non-compliance, Hollywood, and "all agents welcome" provided them a competitive advantage in recruiting the top players in the country to play there.  That, in turn, gave them a competitive advantage on the field when those players, who were drawn to USC by the same atmosphere that got USC in trouble, hit the field to play against other players who were not, by and large, taking improper benefits.

If Bush wasn't a cheater he played for a university / football program that was/is a cheater.


July 20th, 2010 at 8:17 PM ^

Ok, fine...but that's ONE play.  Bad calls happen ALL the time in EVERY sport.  That doesn't change my point.  It was definitely not a TD, but that's not really cheating as much as it is the ref didn't see an illegal play.

ND Sux

July 21st, 2010 at 8:06 AM ^

You support your argument well, however cheating should not be condoned.  It's one reason our society is so F'd up...we make excuses for everyone instead of holding people accountable for their actions.  If the majority think the rules are too harsh, then change the rules, but the cheaters have to be held accountable. 

I know this may be an unpopular stance, but it's how I have always felt.  Just like Hank Aaron is still the home run leader in my book. 


July 20th, 2010 at 6:54 PM ^

I just pointed that they still would not have played in the title game because they still had that one loss to sparty. Instead of getting thumped by OSU in their eventual bowl, they would have either been clobbered by one loss WVU or Penn State or who ever else was in the mix when those Domers took that BCS spot.  It's a rationale they don't like to hear. 


July 20th, 2010 at 6:16 PM ^

I was just unaware that both the university and the player get a Heisman - the actual trophy that is. Or is it that Bush doesn't actually have his own trophy? Which would also seem pretty weird.


July 21st, 2010 at 1:25 AM ^

Who's really disgraced the University more? What Reggie did is peanuts in comparison. I mean, this is not one of those HoF issues where a guy was a racist, or gambled, or did drugs...he stuck a knife in two people! (Got away with it, and STILL ended up in prison). Not saying they HAVE to...but if you want to disassociate yourself with people who put your school in a bad light...just sayin'.....it's not like we put the Unabomber's transcripts on display (and yeah, I know it's not the same thing).


July 20th, 2010 at 8:31 PM ^

I'm cynical, but I see this as a move by USC that gives them another thing to list as a "self imposed sanction" when they appeal their penalty to the NCAA.  USC really wants the bowl ban gone (costs them money) and the scholarship limits as well.   So they're going to fire some people, give back a trophy they'd likely end up hiding after all this, and make a few other gestures so they can go "We punished ourselves, can we play in a bowl now?".