“Apparently” Reggie Bush and his family received $100,000 in benefits while he was still an “amateur” athlete at USC. You know what I say. . .more power to you Reggie. I’m fairly certain that 100k doesn’t even scratch the surface of how much money Reggie generated for the school, conference and the NCAA. I know all about the supposed evils of paying college athletes and a lot of them make sense. So while leaving out the bigger discussion of whether or not we should or shouldn’t pay college athletes and just give some props for Reggie getting his.
The benefits came in a variety of forms: rent free housing for the family, that pimp ass suit Reggie was wearing for the Heisman presentation, hotel stays in Las Vegas and San Diego, money for a car, and round trip airfare from Oakland to San Diego. A lot of this support was funneled through a new sports marketing firm ran by some guy named Michael Michaels. Yes you read it right, and yes I typed it right. . .Michael Michaels.
Now do you expect the Heisman Trophy winner to show up to take that award in an old suit? You expect the most dynamic player in college football to be driving a USED car? Hell No! Do you expect Reggie Bush to drive from Oakland to San Diego? Of course not, man needs to fly. . .and it best be first class where he can be sipping the Dom.
But, what about all the rules he broke? Well i think there are two important parts to any rule: the reason behind it and the punishment for breaking it. Sure, the text is important but without knowing the reasoning behind it, the rule is kind of arbitrary. So the reasoning behind college athletes getting paid is partially to avoid unfairness to the big programs, partially to “protect the integrity of the game” and partially to keep these poor kids down. As for the punishment, well not really shit for Reggie since he’s already in the NFL. At worst Reggie will be declared ineligible, and be stripped of his Heisman. Well we all know Reggie WON the Heisman and whether or not he has to give the trophy back everyone will know that he still earned it on the field regardless of how much money he took off it.
That is the real reason I don’t take these NCAA regulations all that seriosuly, there is no real enforcement. I’m not sure what the NCAA could do, but kids take money from boosters all the time and big time players take money from agents. It happens, and until the NCAA starts punishing people for taking money its going to go on. And punishing the schools isn’t the answer either. The notion that the schools can control these kids is kind of ridiculous. If its institutional cheating, or its orchestrated through the school, fine punish them. Until the NCAA actually tries to deter this shit they would be better off letting it go on.
So don’t be mad at Reggie, how many of us would be the best at what we do, be offered a bunch of perks for it but be able to say:”Nah, fuck it. I need to protect the integrity of the game, cause I’m a STUDENT athlete. See how the student comes first.” The simple truth is almost every one of us would be trying to get paid in some way to. And the argument that he was about to go to the NFL and make millions, well that didn’t get him a fly ride to be cruising the USC campus now did it? That would be like saying to some lawyer, hey we hired you as associate but you aren’t going to be paid. The firm expects you to handle cases and produce. If you do really well you’ll make partner and then start raking in the big bucks. Yeah, I don’t see that standard working anywhere else either.
So here’s to Reggie Bush, I’ve always been amazed with you on the field and now I’ve got respect for you off it. Gotta respect a man that takes care of his business.