Op-Ed: Bush and Mayo deserve punishment from NCAA

Posted Aug 31, 2010 by Michael Bearak
The University of Southern California has received its penalties from the NCAA and even though they are appealing it there is no guarantees. Still, the cause of the penalties have gone unpublished.
Football stadium
Football stadium
by andysternberg
USC has been penalized but Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo are walking around scratch free after the NCAA got finished whipping their alma mater. Neither man has ever stepped up to take responsibility for what happened, or what they did while in college. Neither man really looks like they will get so much as a slap on the wrist, except that they probably can't walk on the campus for a few years.
Still what does all of that mean. I was reading an article on today and the comment that a reader made actually made sense, strip Bush of his Heisman Trophy. Technically Bush wasn't eligible to win it because according to the NCAA he shouldn't have been playing in a number of the games that went into his portfolio for the Heisman Trust to review. The university has already sent back their copy of the award, and truly the most honorable thing to do is for Bush to send his back before they decide to strip him of it. It is completely possible that he won't lose the award, which is probably what he is banking on, but it is hard to imagine allowing the man to keep the award when he truly shouldn't have been there to earn it.
Now Texas fans will argue that Vince Young should get the award if he vacates it. Young has said that he doesn't want it, which is understandable, who really wants to get the award because someone else vacated unless it is a beauty pageant like oh, I don't know Miss Universe.
To preserve the integrity of the Heisman Trophy it should be taken back going on the belief that Bush accepted these gifts or family members of his did. Then it should remain vacant for the one year. If nothing more that would punish Bush and it would show others that they are not immune to the effects of their behaviors even after time has gone by.
To be bluntly honest, if I were in USC's shoes I would consider legal action against both men. Their actions or the actions of those associated with them have tarnished the reputation of USC. If they have caused financial harm to the university then they should be forced to reimburse them for the loss. That would be equitable that would be fair.
Life isn't fair though, and more than likely both men will get off. Will they learn anything from not facing any penalties?: I doubt it, but it might make others who are following them think twice before they break the rules.