Reggie Bush: Is He to Blame for USC’s Sanctions?
“What happened to the days young children could look up to their sports heroes with pride and think that they someday would want to be just like them?”, (Finnegan 4). This question is now being asked more often than ever. The sports stars we look up to and admire are surrounded by talks of cheating. One prime example of this happening is the case of Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush was a running back at the University of Southern California. At USC, he acquired many awards and he broke many records. Bush, along with Coach Pete Carroll, led USC to the top of the college football world (Gray 3). On January 4, 2005, USC defeated Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship 55-19. Bush accounted 149 total yards (Timeline 4). On December 11, 2005, Bush won the Heisman Trophy. He received the second most first-place votes in the award’s history, second behind OJ Simpson (Timeline 18). On January 4, 2006, Bush and USC lost to Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns 41-38 in the BCS National Championship game. Bush, however, accounted for 279 total yards and one touchdown (Timeline 21). Bush is alleged to have taken money and illegal benefits from multiple sources during his USC career. These allegations were viewed by the NCAA and were determined to be true. Therefore, USC encountered many penalties, which were considered by many too harsh. The NCAA says that they wanted to make an example of Bush and USC. Reggie Bush is not to blame for the allegations against him and, as a result, the sanctions against USC. Instead, his step-father, LaMar Griffin, is at fault in this situation. Griffin abused Reggie Bush’s future potential in order to gain illegal benefits. Bush was used as a scape-goat by Griffin and is now being falsely punished. Griffin should incur all of these punishments, not Bush. However, the real damage to Bush is his loss of proper standing in society’s view, which cannot be fully recovered even if he is found innocent. A popular topic of conversation in college sports is whether college athletes should be paid to play or not. College athletes are considered student-athletes. This means that their first duty in college is to be a student, then to be an athlete. Student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than any other general student body group. They get to enjoy levels of engagement in academics and the community, as well as their athletics. After they are done with college, many athletes claimed to have positive feelings about their overall athletic and academic experiences in college (Why 3). There is a group of people that believe student-athletes should be paid to play. They say that the student-athletes generate income for the university and should be compensated for their efforts. The other group thinks that student-athletes should not be paid. They say that intercollegiate sports include many different sports. And of those sports, the expenses will outweigh the revenue (with the exception of some larger Division-1 schools) (Why 4). The pro-payment to collegiate athletes group says that they should eliminate the non-revenue sports from the equation. Then the college should pay the athletes that play the sports that make the college money. Of these programs, 30% of Division-1 football programs and 26% of Division-1 basketball programs actually make the college money (Why 5). This makes the argument for the payment of collegiate student-athletes very hard to agree with. There is not enough revenue to give the players proper payment. And besides, they are called student-athletes for a reason. College sports include a group of people that help to support the programs of the college. Each program has its own group, which is called a booster club. The members of the clubs, called boosters, help raise or donate money for the programs. A booster has made financial contributions to the booster club or the athletics program in general. They are...
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