I’m still not sure what the purpose of making Reggie Bush give back his Heisman is. It just reminds me of when the sucky kid doesn’t get picked on the playground, so he throws a fit and takes his ball home. Perhaps Bush received illegal benefits, but did it really give him an advantage on the field? He would’ve won that Heisman wherever he played, and probably by a more lopsided vote, since he surely split some votes with teammate Matt Leinart. Mack Brown thinks Vince Young should get the award. Are we sure his decision to go to Texas was all on the up and up? Sure, he’s from Houston, so why wouldn’t he go play for Texas? But then again, why not A&M, or Houston, or LSU? Reggie Bush was from San Diego, who’s to say he wouldn’t have ended up at USC anyway? Look, I can name quite a few college athletes who received illegal benefits, and some didn’t even go on to a professional career in their respective sports. The point is, the NCAA can keep targeting USC all they want, e.g. Bush, OJ Mayo, but clearly this goes on at every university in the country. I wonder how long until they cry foul on Demar Derozan. It’s common knowledge he went to SC because they let his buddy Lil Romeo tag along. This whole mess has got me thinking about other players who went to a certain university, where there’s no way there wasn’t foul play. I know they don’t have Heismans per se, but you get the idea. Let’s start pointing some fingers…..
JAMARCUS RUSSELL, LSU: I know it’s not too far fetched for a kid from Alabama to choose LSU, but we all know what kind of guy Russell is, there’s no way he didn’t go play for the highest bidder. Why would he choose LSU over other SEC schools like Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia, or Tennessee? Les Miles and the boosters surely offered him the iciest #2 platinum chain of all the competition.
JAY CUTLER, VANDERBILT: Why would a guy from Indiana choose Vanderbilt of all places? Maybe he wasn’t highly touted out of high school, but even if you aren’t good enough for Notre Dame or Purdue, surely you could make the squad at Indiana. I certainly understand a guy not wanting to stay close to home, but of all places, Vanderbilt? That one always made me wonder.
MICHAEL CRABTREE, TEXAS TECH: This one screamed payday from the second he burst on the scene. I’m all for a future star going to a smaller school to put them on the map, but a stud receiver out of Dallas choosing Tech over schools like Texas and Oklahoma? The folks in Lubbock surely had something extra to offer, and it wasn’t Graham Harrell.
MICHAEL BEASLEY, KANSAS STATE: Time to switch sports, because basketball is so much easier to spot these cases, and none is more easy to spot than a kid from Maryland, who played high school ball in Massachusettes, and choose….Kansas State? Even if Blake Griffin didn’t grow up in Oklahoma, you could make the argument that he was a big Wayman Tisdale fan, but good luck selling anyone on Beasley being a huge Mitch Richmond fan.
DWYANE WADE, MARQUETTE: I know most won’t agree with this one, but how does a kid from Chicago end up at Marquette? If he didn’t like Illinois, clearly Depaul would’ve been a good fit if he liked private schools. Or if he liked cheeseheads, why not Wisconsin? I’d like to ask Wade how he ended up at Marquette.
DAJUAN WAGNER, MEMPHIS: I remember Wagner being pretty heavily recruited out of high school. But he was from Jersey, and he ended up at Memphis. Maybe he was just a big Penny Hardaway fan – after all, he went on to have a very similar NBA career, just minus the first five or six successful years.
EVERYBODY WHO PLAYED AT FRESNO STATE BETWEEN 1998-2002: Melvin Ely, Courtney Alexander, Demetrius Porter, Chris Herren, Tito Maddox, Chris Jefferies, Noel Felix, Terrence Roberson, and others. You could make the argument that they wanted to play for Jerry Tarkanian, but that’s not exactly a testament to honesty. Obviously they weren’t huge stars, but I’d be surprised to hear that a single one of these guys didn’t receive illegal benefits.