June 6, 2011

BCS vacates USC bowls featuring Bush

Nearly a year after disowning one of their most famous sons, the University of Southern California continues to pay the price for his sins against the NCAA.

Thanks to Reggie Bush's ineligibility because of improper benefits given to him and his family during his time as a Trojan star and (former) Heisman Trophy winner, USC has been stripped of their 2004 BCS National Championship.

The BCS vacated back-to-back BCS Championship games, the 2005 Orange Bowl and the 2006 Rose Bowl.  The Trojans beat Oklahoma in January of 2005 to win the BCS title, but lost to QB Vince Young and Texas a year later in the national championship game.

USC's stellar, undefeated 2004 season was capped by a trouncing of Oklahoma.

The BCS, not technically governed by the NCAA, ruled today, less than two weeks after the NCAA closed the case on USC, denying their final appeal.  The BCS doesn't have the right to force USC to vacate its regular-season victories.

Last June, USC was hit with major penalties - including 30 scholarships, a two-year postseason ban and four years of probation.  The next month, USC disowned Bush, removing his likeness and jerseys from school facilities and returning Bush's Heisman Trophy.  Since 1966, two copies of the trophy have been awarded to each winner, one for the player and one for the school.  USC also fired Athletic Director Mike Garrett.

In mid-September Bush pre-empted a decision by the committee that awards the Heisman Trophy Award and voluntarily relinquished the honor.  Young, the runner-up to Bush in Heisman voting, issued a statement saying that Bush should remain known as the winner. 

Bush has been one of the bigger news-makers for the Saints this offseason, mostly negative.  Speculation regarding the acquisition of Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft only strengthened the reality that Bush will need to take a massive paycut in 2011.

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