Reality finally caught up to Reggie Bush, the USC Heisman trophy winner in 2005. There has been much ballyhooing regarding his action to voluntarily return the Heisman. As other reports indicate, he conveniently returned it the day the Heisman Trophy committee met behind closed doors, likely to strip him of it whether he went along or not. There is a good little blurb here on what some former Heisman trophy winners had to say on the debacle.
For the record, I don't give a hoot nor a holler about the Heisman. Never have since Peyton Manning got ripped off back in 1997. Most of the time, its a complete popularity contest. Most of the Heisman voters (and I've personally contacted several over the years) don't even bother looking at game film on most of the candidates. Their votes are made up in their mind before the season even starts. I've even had more than one Heisman trophy voter off the record tell me they've sold their vote for money. The Heisman trophy is self-regulating and independent from the NCAA, and even if the NCAA wanted to investigate, there isn't much they could do about it.
I've even contacted some well known Sports reporters for some well known sports networks with my information, and of the two that responded, one said he'd be interested in looking into the story but was told he'd be fired by the Network if he did. (If football makes money, the network makes money.) The other told me I was a "paranoid crackpot" and a "killjoy," and that "Football is money, son."
For the record, I've also talked to some very high ranking NCAA officials over the years who said they know full well that the Heisman voting is rigged and in some cases corrupt, but they don't pursue it because of ***shocker*** the money. A bowl game with a Heisman trophy winner is ratings gold. This is why they trophy is voted on during the break before the bowl season and not afterward. Does anyone think that had the 2005 Heisman been awarded after Texas won the National Championship that Vince Young would not have won it, or at least made it very, very close?
In my mind, whether Bush returned the Heisman or not, I don't think it really matters. He still hasn't admitted any wrong doing. I imagine if he would have just fessed up and said something like, "Yeah, I was young and stupid, and I messed up. Forgive me," even if he didn't really mean it, they probably would have let him keep it because the Heisman is hallowed needlessly.
Bush might be some tarnish, but one can't tarnish an already rusty blade.