15 September 2006

Today's rant: Will college football's cheaters get their due?

According to Yahoo Sports:
An eight-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed that Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush and his family appear to have accepted financial benefits worth more than $100,000 from marketing agents while Bush was playing at the University of Southern California.
Yes, you read that right. More than $100,000. Airfares, clothing, hotel rooms, direct cash payments to Bush's family.
If the NCAA rules that Bush received extra benefits during his playing career at USC, he could be ruled retroactively ineligible. Since some of the benefits date back to the 2004 season, the Trojans' national championship that season could be rescinded. USC could face further NCAA sanctions and Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy could be in jeopardy. The Heisman ballot indicates that an athlete must meet NCAA eligibility requirements to be considered for college football's most prestigious award.
No college football program is perfect, but I'd like to think that Penn State is one of those schools that sets the standard for compliance. Sure, sometimes players do stupid stuff (like they would at any school), but you don't see massive violations of NCAA rules in State College. Thank God that we have a man like Joe Paterno who rights the ship so these problems never occur at Penn State.

This issue dovetails nicely with the CBS Evening News interview with Joe Paterno that I profiled yesterday, entitled Success with Honor. If these allegations are true, perhaps the next interview ought to be with Pete Carroll at USC entitled Success At Any Cost, because it appears that it will cost them big.

For more on this ongoing case, see here and here.
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