Thursday, September 21, 2006

King Kaufman of Salon ridicules the notion that Reggie Bush's violation of malum prohibitum regulations makes him a "bad guy":
Bush is in the NFL. The NCAA holds no sway over him, can't even compel him to cooperate with an investigation. The coaches and administrators will either ride out any punishment or they'll move on to other jobs, Dennis Franchione style.

The people punished when the NCAA finally lowers the boom on a program, barring it from bowl and national TV appearances, limiting its scholarships, that sort of thing, are a bunch of kids who were in high school when the violations occurred.

Reggie Bush's "punishment," in the unlikely event it comes to that, will be having to surrender his Heisman Trophy, a fate about as bad as Vanessa Williams having to give up her Miss America title to ... uh ... who again? And he'll have to feel bad about being the cause of USC getting punished, as though he were the only Trojan ever on the take. If it were me I'd cry, as Liberace said, all the way to the bank.

And all for what purpose? To preserve a system that enriches the NCAA and its members on the backs of mostly poor kids working for free in a multibillion-dollar enterprise. A system that frees up money for universities to pay coaches millions of dollars while denying the players, the people the fans pay to see, even White's proverbial stick of gum.


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