There’s always something to howl about

On a Scale of 1 to 10…

USC is cleaning house after the Reggie Bush debacle.  (For those of you with real lives, Reggies Bush is a running back for the Saints who, while attending USC, was lucky enough to receive – no strings attached – a big, beautiful new home for his family here in San Diego…  It reportedly had nothing to do with his prowess on the football field.)  According to a recent AP story reported in the San Diego Union Tribune, USC will be sending Mr. Bush’s Heisman Trophy back to the Heisman Committee as an expression of their shame.  Apparently, they are no longer proud to display it along side the trophies of Mike Garrett, Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Charles White, Marcus Allen and … OJ Simpson.
I’m guessing the closed-door strategy session ended with something like this: “Yes, yes, he nearly severed two people’s heads… I mean he alledgedly nearly severed two people’s heads!  But Reggie cost us scholarships and bowl games.  Gentleman, I believe our course of action is clear.”

18 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Estate Feeds, Mark Risley and My REALTY, Tom Hunter. Tom Hunter said: On a Scale of 1 to 10…: USC is cleaning house after the Reggie Bush debacle.  (For those of you with real lives, R… […]

  2. Don Reedy July 24th, 2010 1:28 pm


    USC returns Bush’s Heisman trophy….and continues to hold O.J. Simpson’s Heisman trophy.

    Let’s see….

    Reggie Bush had a house bought for his family, and that was bad enough for USC to do a mea culpa. O.J. Simpson, on the other hand, was found responsible for the death of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown (and to be politically correct I’m not going to mention the slashing, cutting and mutilating….oh yes I am), but USC continues to display his Heisman as reflective of the values this school holds dear.

    It’s a good thing I studied enough math to understand how numbers can be negative, or I’d be in a state of confusion as to how to grade on the 0 to 10 scale of propriety and honor.

    Contrast, by the way, the actions of UCSD, who earlier this year had students who engaged in clearly racist activities, and then took action including not only sanctioning those students, but also reaching out to the community of Compton to help begin a program to begin to correct some of the injustices and social inequities they uncovered in their truthful and expedient examination of what had happened. For these actions UCSD scores a 10.

  3. Cheryl Johnson July 24th, 2010 4:52 pm

    Agreed. On a minor side note, I sure wish Pete Carroll would shut up and stop trying to place all the blame on Reggie. All his denials are unbecoming. 🙂

  4. Don Reedy July 24th, 2010 5:03 pm


    Pete Carroll should take a page out of the Navy Manual. If you’re the Captain, then no matter who did the deed, you shoulder the responsibility. No excuses. It’s not always fair, but if I read your comment correctly, what you are looking for is a guy who will stand up and take the heat.

    Indeed, his denials are “unbecoming an officer…….” and certainly a head coach and leader of young men and women.

  5. Teri Lussier July 25th, 2010 3:44 am

    Ethics violations in collegiate sports?!? Why I’m shocked, shocked. But I’ve never heard of Reggie Bush, so I clicked the link to the news story. Now I’m confused.

    So… Hmm… Don’t college players typically get all sorts of perks, er, packages? What the hell is a scholarship? That’s worth thousands and thousands of dollars- a starter home across much of the country.


    Don, OJ was found *not* guilty for murder in a court of law. For USC to remove any reference to him because he was accused of murder, or because those deaths are unsolved, or because many people still think he’s guilty regardless of jury decision, would be for USC to pass their own judgment on that case which would be wrong, if you think about it. OTOH, Simpson was found guilty for stealing his own stuff, or something like that, but perhaps breaking that particular law doesn’t violate any ethical standards they hold dear.

    I do like this quote from the new coach:

    “We’re going to try to be perfect. When we make mistakes, we’re going to fess up, and we’re going to try to do better next time.”

    That’s a nice coachly thing to say at a time like this.

  6. Robert Worthington July 25th, 2010 5:14 am

    Certainly if Bush has his trophy recalled others should follow much like Sean said above.

  7. Teri Lussier July 25th, 2010 6:36 am

    Jamie just explained college sports and agents and Reggie Bush.

    Our daughter is going to a college with zero sports teams. Zero. And not surprisingly you’ve never heard of this college. Of course you want the best players at your college- that’s big business.

    The problem to me, is that we waste time and effort pretending that college sports are about anything other than business. They are not. I say let the college sports market do it’s thing. These kids are commodities, they’ve worked hard, they’ve earned the right to market their skills freely. Wine ’em, dine ’em. Let them earn whatever the market will bear.

    As the man said, “Life’s tough. Wear a helmet.”

    She will now duck back into her hidey-hole. 😀

  8. Don Reedy July 25th, 2010 6:40 am


    The O.J. thing centers (for me) on two issues.

    The “reasonable man” theory, which in the law is the linchpin of just about everything we do and decide. It is reasonable under the facts to assume such and such.

    What happened IMO at the Simpson trial was jury nullification, a concept under which a jury suspends reasonable thought to provide an outcome they want. BUT, that’s why I brought up the civil trial. Accused of, and found liable for, the wrongful death of Ron Goldman and the battery of Nicole Brown, it is clear that this “infraction” rises to the highest levels of otherwise non criminal actions.

    My point: If I drink and drive drunk, and don’t kill or harm anyone, they can and will take my license to practice real estate here in California away from me. O.J. doesn’t practice real estate. He did harm someone (according to the civil suit), and I believe USC should take the “reasonable man” approach in dealing with his malfeasance. And since they cannot return HIS Heisman trophy, they can return the fruits of that tree that were given to USC by a bad, bad guy. It’s a handshake kind of thing I have with these colleges and sports. I always want them to do the right thing. It’s the heart of athletics, and USC needs a transplant if they can’t see that.

  9. Don Reedy July 25th, 2010 6:52 am


    Sorry, but college sports are absolutely NOT about business except in Division I athletics. There are thousands of smaller schools that provide great athletic programs to students, allowing them to participate at their highest levels, allowing them to learn the value of competition, and allowing them to grow as young men and women. I am such a recipient.

    I don’t disagree that on topic here we are indeed talking about business, but if your kids get a chance to compete, it won’t be about business. It will be about education, about growing, about heroics and failures. Sports, colleges not excluded, are expressions of some of our highest abilities.

    Of course you point out that business is in fact a part of the equation, but honestly, even in Division I sports there are still just a few that rise to the top and make that sport into a business. Most of the players labor in love over a sport they have found a deep connection to, and they don’t get wined and don’t become front page news. Most just end up with bad knees, strained backs, cauliflower ears, and great stories about their youth.

  10. Sean Purcell July 25th, 2010 7:39 am

    Robert – Thanks for the back up. It doesn’t seem like a difficult decision, does it?

    Cheryl – Amen sister. A little sense of responsibility from the guy who is supposed to be teaching boys how to be men isn’t too much to ask.

  11. Sean Purcell July 25th, 2010 8:24 am

    College sports and the OJ trial. Good stuff.

    Teri, you were correct the first time, but then so is Don. College sports is BIG business – but really only at the Division I level and then primarily football and basketball. But that is what we’re talking about here whether it’s Bush or Simpson. This is about big time athletes in a big time sport at a big time college. This is about recruiting and institutional reputation. In the end, this is about money.

    The people who run the NCAA are just as hypocritical, self-centered and ignorant about being an athlete as the people who run every other sports association from the IOC on down. Most of them are a lot more interested in controlling and dictating to athletes than they are looking out for them. You may conclude this has something to do with their shortcomings as atheletes themselves… or maybe they’re making up for some other shortcoming… but I’ll leave that to you. These people – in general – are liars and thieves. But then, I might be a little biased. (I don’t generally don’t count professional sports associations e.g. NFL, MLB, etc in this diatribe. Why? Not because their goals are any different, certainly. If anything, these groups are even more ruthless in their disgard for the athlete/product. But they are running a business and they don’t pretend to hide it. In other words, they’re just as bad, but because they’re honest about it I don’t fault them nearly as much.)

    Interestingly, the President of Brown University released a white paper back in the ’80s (you can google it if you want, I’m too lazy on a Sunday to go that far) wherein he suggested that many student-athletes are, in fact, athlete-students. (This may sound obvious, but it is never admitted by those beacons of truth at the NCAA.) He acknowledged that a great many of these athletes, once their scholarship ended, would gain little else from college, while the college itself reaped a great deal of reward on the sweat of that athlete. He asked why the NCAA and the University Presidents couldn’t just admit that what they had going was a kind of intern program. Instead of pretending to teach the athletes astronomy or communication or whatever made-up degree they could most easily get through without attending most of the classes, he suggested that they teach more rudimentary courses that would help them in the real world after their scholarship ended: basic accounting so they understood how to save for retirement and balance a budget, job hunting skills and so forth. He also suggested that these athletes receive a stipend for their “work” on behalf of the universities. This was all very accurate and very intelligent and very quickly forgotten…

    Don, your thoughts on student athletes are beautiful and I hope dead-on for the great majority of those who attend college. But they’re not in the same ballpark when we’re discussing a Reggie Bush or OJ Simpson.

  12. Sean Purcell July 25th, 2010 8:30 am

    OJ was found not guilty for his crimes, but I don’t agree it was jury nullification. It was terrible prosecution. I watched every day of that trial and I would have voted not guilty too. But the outside evidence is pretty overwhelming and the civil jury certainly found him liable. (BTW, I’m not sure “reasonable man” is the right benchmark for criminal trials. It must be beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas a civil trial is merely preponderance of evidence.)

    My point was simply this: the university doesn’t have to make decisions regarding its own reputation and moral stature based on a criminal trial outcome. It certainly didn’t with Mr. Bush.

  13. Cheryl Johnson July 25th, 2010 10:52 am

    @Teri, You’re a quick study. 🙂

    Just for clarification: Lane Kiffin is the new head coach; Pat Haden is the new athletic director. The athletic director is the boss over all the coaches.

  14. Don Reedy July 25th, 2010 12:20 pm

    Sean and Teri,

    Just returned from church. Pensive time. Relaxing. Contemplating.

    On a scale of 0 to 10…….


    🙂 to you both today!!

  15. Jeff Brown July 25th, 2010 12:35 pm

    Having umpired hundreds of Div I athletes, the difference between baseball and football at Div I is the difference between a ’59 VW and a brand new Mercedes V-12 Roadster. Heck, most players on a typical Div I baseball team don’t even get a full scholarship, much less cars, cash, and the rest.

  16. Alex Cortez July 25th, 2010 7:13 pm

    I won’t get into the whole O.J./Reggie thing or any of the other side-subjects, just wanted to add: My wife (an University of Oregon alumnus) isn’t exactly sad about USC’s misfortunes. What a b***h!

  17. Joy Rice July 26th, 2010 1:29 pm

    i have just two words for this…Pete Carroll. But then again i am a huge Longhorns fan.

  18. Tom Bryant July 27th, 2010 4:04 pm

    Interesting discussion. The NCAA has had an ongoing advertising campaign that makes the point that most student-athletes will be “going pro in something other than sports.” And that’s certainly true. Even the big boys of Division 1 football have an 85 man roster, and yet for one school to have as many as 5 NFL draftees in a year is unusual. But tv money has certainly changed the landscape of college football and basketball. The trend toward coaches who make more than any other employee at a University (including the President) is evidence of the tail wagging the dog. But I have no clue how to rein it back in at this point. With conferences realigning, and some starting their own networks, it seems like the big money in college sports is about to escalate to another level.

    I was a college athlete in a non-revenue sport (track and cross country) who benefitted directly from the success of our football and basketball teams (at Ohio State). Today, the money generated by those two sports at OSU supports over 30 mens and womens varsity sports. So, when I cheer on my alma mater, and buy the gear, I know that I’m helping the athletic department as a whole, not just the high profile sports. Did you know that OSU is a national power in synchronized swimming? I didn’t think so : )