You know what's great about college football? The attitude, the games, the atmosphere, the athletes. You know what's not great about college football? All those stuffed shirts, empty suits and air-headed adminstrators who today are preparing to throw Reggie Bush under the bus. You know what else isn't great about college football? All those creeps who make money by "representing" the athlete and then cut the player's legs off when their services are not wanted.
Reading the latest stories that accuse Reggie Bush of taking extra benefits while a "student-athlete" at USC makes you want to stop and take a shower. It's a tale of ugliness, former business associates ratting out each other and spurned suitors dropping dimes all over the place.
Standing ready to put the screws to everyone involved in this mess is the NCAA. They sound like simpering fools as they wait for the people who talked to Yahoo Sports reporters for their story to come talk to them. "Now that certain individuals have spoken publicly," an NCAA spokesman said to Yahoo, "we hope they will now speak with the NCAA."
Why? So you can declare Reggie ineligible for the last two seasons? So you can start the ball rolling to declare USC guilty and wipe out a bunch of victories and, working with the NCAA's tame partner, the BCS to take away a National Championship. Eradicate Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy? By the way sports fans, when all this happens you will have to wipe your memory clean of last year's Rose Bowl game, too. You've been warned.
College sports is a mess because of things like this. Did Reggie Bush do all the right things? Perhaps and probably not. Should he have known better than to allow a marketing agent with a shady past insinuate himself into his and his family's life? Absolutely. And should USC have exerted more control over its meal ticket and its program than it clearly did? Of course.
But the idea of the NCAA, the BCS, the Pac-10, the Heisman Trust (talk about a misnomer) lining up to erase the memory of Reggie Bush from college football is sickening. They're running a huge business and huge amounts of money are being made using athletes in any way possible. Add a game to the regular season? Sure, More money. Create a championship game? Yes, yes, yes. Bring the Heisman candidates to New York for the big show? Naturally. And while you're at it make sure those athletes don't get anything extra as a result. Exposure is what we give them. Pro contracts is what they'll get. (Not everyone of them, guys.) Add more unintelligible pages to the Rules Manual? Right here.
The NCAA this week declared that Clemson football player Ray Ray McElrathbey was not in violation of its rules for seeking to be guardian to his 11-year-old brother since one parent was more interested in drugs and the other in gambling than in raisng their son. When the suits said it was OK for Fahmarr McElrathbey to get some huge extra benefits for his brother--like being picked up from school by a coach's wife--the world breathed more easily and the NCAA took credit for its humanity. Bull.
Ray Ray McElrathbey is a redshirt freshman cornerback and may well be a fine football player. But he is not a very big fish. And, of course, his "violations" would have brought thunderous ridicule on the organization if they were judged as such. Reggie Bush on the other hand gives these blowhards a chance to act tough on a big stage before they go off and count some more money.