Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A First for College Football's Biggest Award

Reggie Bush was one of the best college running backs of all time, and participated in the heyday of USC football. He was the 2nd overall pick in 2006, but hasn't done many big things in the league since then, despite winning a super bowl ring. But maybe his most shining accomplishment was his Heisman Trophy in 2005. But now, cobwebs will gather on the empty space now available in Reggie's trophy case, as he has decided to give up his Heisman from 2005. Was this the right choice, and will there be a new winner for the now forfeited trophy?

Bush's '05 season was great in every respect, All-American, Walter Camp and Doak Walker award winner, and lead the country in all purpose yards per game, at over 222 yards a game. But, now along with the rest of that season, Bush's Heisman is now forfeited by himself. This is the first time in 75 years that the award has been vacated. Bush gave up the award with humility, by saying in a statement, "For me, it was a dream come true. But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. 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." He has done everything right publicly. And, Bush was the impact player in college that year. But, with all of what he did does make me think he had to give it up. With the rest of that vacated season, I am not shocked that he decided to give it up, and he rightfully should. And honestly, this looks much better from a PR standpoint then having the Heisman trust taking the award from him. But, should Vince Young get that Heisman now vacated?

The simple answer is: NO. Vince Young got what I think, and most people think, is more important, the National Title for that year. Reggie's was vacated from '04, but he still won one before Vince. Bush had more than 700 more first place votes in that set of Heisman voting, which was the second largest margin of victory in Heisman voting history, and Bush had a much bigger impact that year. And of course, Young made one of the most ubiquitous runs in college football history in that National Title game, to give Texas the win. And, VY, think of this. The Heisman award winners in the NFL haven't had the best careers in the league, and even Paul Hornung, who dealt with similar problems as Bush when he was suspended by the league for gambling. Vince Young shouldn't get the Heisman, even though he wants it. Reggie Bush has already got a super bowl ring, and Young is mad about that. But Young has had, in my opinion a better pro career. The Heisman is an aside, and should stay vacated.

Whether you think Bush did the right thing or not right now is pushed aside by the fact that Vince Young shouldn't get it. It needs to stay un-awarded, like the 2004 AP National Champion banner that USC also gave back. Bush's move was good for himself, and his name, but the 2005 award should stay un-awarded.  The Heisman Trust still has to decide whether to re-award the trophy, but they shouldn't. Don't give the Heisman to Young, as he didn't earn it. Leave it alone, as far as I'm concerned, it's already tainted for 2005.

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