The Heisman trust is now putting Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy under consideration. The Florida Gators are battling rumors that former offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey received $100,000 from a player agent. Mike Garrett just lost his job as the USC athletic director because of a number of instances similar to the ones that I have just mentioned. Nick Saban was forced to defend Alabama, and scrutinize agents in a press conference because of questions swirling around the USC and Florida football programs. Gene Wojciechowski wrote an article on ESPN.com today proclaiming that the Heisman Trophy that Reggie Bush won should be in a trophy case in Vince Young’s house.
I have some advice for you, Mr. Wojciechowski…stop running your mouth. Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy because of his performance on the football field. The Heisman Trophy isn’t given out because of the car Reggie Bush drives, the house that his mom lives in, the brand new sneakers that he rocks around campus, or the thousand dollar watch around his wrist. Reggie Bush is Heisman Trophy winner because he is an exceptional football player and he should be rewarded properly if he was the best player in college football during the 2005 season.
As for the rest of these investigations/allegations, I think it is about time we remove ourselves from the 1950’s and realize that we are living in a time where college athletics, and football in particular is a business that’s sole effort is to make money. This is the exact reason why there is no playoff in college football, because sponsors pay way too much money to put their name on a bowl game. During the 2007-2008 college football bowl season alone, over $240 million was paid out to the participating teams. So while the NCAA, and the schools that participate in college football are bringing in huge sums of money, the players are receiving a free education (which I think we all can agree that in many cases that gift is not taken advantage of) while ruining their bodies on the field for no compensation. I would argue that Reggie Bush generated several million dollars for the USC Trojans during the three seasons that he was a member of the team. He has been repaid with them wiping his name from their record books.
Would it be overly outrageous to pay college athletes, oh I don’t know, maybe $100,000 a year (amount variable based on the popularity of the sport and team success) to sacrifice themselves for the school colors? I think that even a seemingly minute (compared to professional athletes) salary such as that would go a long way towards eliminating the draw that boosters and agents have because of promised compensation. With schools raking in the dough that they are because of these superstar college athletes, it is about time we consider compensating these athletes properly.