Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Reggie Bush/Heisman saga has come to an end. The NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported that Reggie Bush had forfeited his Heisman Trophy, and Bush's statement on the New Orleans Saints' website confirmed the matter shortly thereafter.
Here are some excerpts from Bush's statements:
I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.
I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005. The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting.
For the rest of my days, I will continue to strive to demonstrate through my actions and words that I was deserving of the confidence placed in me by the Heisman Trophy Trust. I would like to begin in this effort by turning a negative situation into a positive one by working with the Trustees to establish an educational program which will assist student-athletes and their families avoid some of the mistakes that I made.
While this decision is heart-breaking, I find solace in knowing that the award was made possible by the support and love of so many. Those are gifts that can never be taken away.
If you read carefully, you'll notice that Bush actually admits to making mistakes, although he places some of the blame for the negative situation on the media for "speculation regarding allegations back to my years at USC." Logically, then, it follows that he would have done the Heisman Trophy Trust a substantial favor by owning up to those mistakes and putting them in the public record, no?
And if Bush does that and establishes that educational program, well, wouldn't that outweigh whatever betrayal the Heisman Trophy Trust might have perceived?
Further, it's not as if anything Bush did on the field was invalid. He did rip off all those ridiculous runs. He did average 8.7 yards per carry. He's never been accused of cheating at sports. And frankly, he's not of the worst character of all Heisman winners, past and present. Yet he's the first to forfeit his trophy. We wonder: how many past Heisman winners have skeletons in their closets worse than Bush's? Will Bush be the only Heisman winner to forfeit his trophy? And if not, is that really what the Heisman Trophy thinks is best?