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I know this isn’t a brand new issue, but I feel it needs to be addressed. Why is Reggie Bush the guy that the NCAA chose to crucify?
After nearly five years of investigation (if you wanna call it that) the NCAA determined that Bush received improper benefits. Duuuh! Basically, a snitch of a sports agent named Lloyd Lake gave Bush’s parents approximately $290,000 so that they could move in to a new home in a much nicer neighborhood. What’s a kid to do in that situation? Well, we know the answer to that.
The aftermath was USC losing 30 football scholarships, vacating wins (including the ’04 national title), and becoming bowl ineligible for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. So you mean the current players have to pay the price for this? That’s garbage. USC was stripped of their copy of Bush’s Heisman, and was about to take Reggie’s copy also, but he voluntarily gave it to them in an attempt to move on in his life.
What about O.J. Mayo? Cam Newton? Derrick Rose, or just about any good player that played for John Calipari? These are just a few of the more prominent examples of many over the years.
USC has vacated wins from the ’08 basketball season because of O.J. Mayo. But does anyone really care? The only postseason penalty they received was a self-imposed one, and not from the NCAA.
Derrick Rose was technically an ineligible player the entire year he played for Memphis. The NCAA reported his SAT to be completely invalid (meaning someone else took the test for the sizzling fast “slow” guy). Memphis was forced to vacate their 38 wins and final four appearance from ’08. But was there a loss of scholarships or future postseason eligibility? Nope.
In 1996, while at UMass, Marcus Camby received money, jewelry, and even hookers from two different agents. UMass was forced to vacate their final four appearance for that year. But was Marcus Camby pressured by the NCAA to give up his Naismith Award (nat. p.o.y), or Calipari to give up his coach of the year award? Nope.
There is a good amount of evidence pointing that Cam Newton’s father Cecil Newton accepted several hundred thousand in cash from Auburn. They went on to win the BCS title along with a Heisman for Newton. This situation is still under investigation. But of course, it hasn’t been nearly five years yet! So we can expect this thing to drag on I’m sure. Bush’s parents receiving a decent place to live in cost their son, and his alma mater an unprecidented penalty. Let’s see if the same happens to both Auburn and Cam for the actions of Cecil (cash money millionaire) Newton. Will Gene Chizik still have a job? Or will he more likely take the first chance he gets at leaving for the NFL? -wink, wink
My point? Why should future players like USC’s Matt Barkley pay the price for the mistake of someone in the past? Especially considering that those sanctions had not yet been levied at the time of their commitment. Why do agents such as Lloyd Lake and others still have licenses? They knew very well what they were doing was wrong, and took advantage of teenagers who were in much less fortunate situations. Why does a coach like John Calipari, who has put multiple programs under sanctions still get to coach? Everyone knows that he had knowledge of what was going on at UMass and Memphis, yet he continues to enjoy a 4 million dollar annual salary at Kentucky. It seems to me like the NCAA is more concerned with penalizing the very kids that they make money on than the adults (agents, coaches, directors, etc.) who are supposed to be responsible for upholding the integrity of the NCAA laws. What kind of message is this sending?