Posts Tagged ‘Reggie Bush’

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigns, long after lying to NCAA and playing ineligible players

May 30, 2011

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, arguably the top coach in college football with eight BCS bowl appearances in ten years and a national championship, resigned today. Tressel has been caught lying to the OSU administration and playing players he knew to be ineligible.

In the midst of an NCAA investigation into OSU athletics, and with several allegations of higher-ups condoning the rule-breaking, the university is trying to pin the entire rap on Tressel and avoid penalties against the Buckeyes’ top-rated football program. The school used the old trick of sugar-coating public relations pros by releasing the news on a holiday weekend, hoping that fewer people would notice.

A year ago the NCAA levied harsh penalties against USC for what appears to be a much lesser offense involving one assistant coach and one player, Reggie Bush. The OSU case involves the head coach, the director of compliance, and twenty-eight players over nine years. It may also involve the athletic director and the university President. Stay tuned for more transgressions and to compare penalties.

Who’s unethical: USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin or the Washington Post?

November 26, 2010

When the newspaper says you’re a cheater, a womanizer, and only got your job because of your father’s influence you must be a pretty bad person, right? Well, maybe not if it’s the Washington Post making the accusations.

The Post’s Norman Chad wrote these things last Sunday, in a piece headed “USC’s Kiffin and Carroll are the best – at circumventing the rules.”

It’s true that last year, as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Kiffin broke some rules that the NCAA called secondary violations with no penalties, mainly speaking disparagingly of Southeastern Conference rivals. It’s also true that the USC football program was sanctioned by the NCAA because star running back Reggie Bush’s parents accepted gifts from an agent looking to buy influence with Reggie. No suggestion, however, was made by the NCAA investigation that coach Pete Carroll had even a hint of the payoffs—the charge was that the school’s policing of the rules was inadequate.

The Post calls USC football a rogue program. Far from it: to make up for its failure to learn about the Bush pere payola, USC has hired a new athletic director, the squeaky-clean Pat Haden, and appointed a university vice president for compliance. An example of USC’s dedication to compliance: the Trojans’ suspended their hot-shot running back, freshman Dillon Baxter, for the Oregon State game (which the Trojans lost) for accepting a campus ride on a golf cart that was driven by a student who—unknown to Baxter—was a part-time sports agent. Baxter was reinstated only after making a donation to charity of five dollars—the imputed value of the illicit ride. (more…)

More shame for USC: After spreading careless accusations of cheating, a non-apology from Mike Garrett

July 12, 2010

When you’ve done something wrong and you want to apologize, say. “I’m sorry.” Even better, say what you’re sorry for. This doesn’t apply to the University of Southern California.

After USC was hit last month with sanctions from the NCAA for serious rule violations involving football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O. J. Mayo, the athletic department feared that players already committed to the Trojans (or already enrolled) would switch to other schools. Not just fears: according to ESPN, USC accused five other schools–Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Fresno State—of cheating by contacting top Trojan recruit Dillon Baxter without the Trojans’ permission.

Mike Garrett, Trojan athletic director confirmed the ESPN report when he sent letters of “apology” to the five schools. After accusing the five schools of cheating Garrett belatedly asked Baxter, who said he’d not been contacted by any of the schools.

Garrett didn’t apologize for his careless accusation of cheating, or perhaps for damaging their reputations, nor for anything he had done. No responsibility for Mike Garrett, nosirree:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution,” Garrett wrote.

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USC’s Lane Kiffin is an ethical hero for releasing Seantrel Henderson

July 8, 2010

USC and its new football coach, Lane Kiffin, deserve big-time credit for ethical behavior. The athletic department, headed by ex-Trojan great Mike Garrett, has for months been reeling from scandal involving former Trojan stars Reggie Bush and O. J. Mayo, and from the sudden departure of coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll’s replacement, Lane Kiffin, soon looked like a miracle worker, assembling a group of high school seniors that ranked among the top recruiting classes in the nation, headed by 6’8, 337 pound Seantrel Henderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, everybody’s choice as high school player of the year. Sports Illustrated described Henderson as “probably the most polished lineman of the past decade.” He plays left tackle, the position glorified by The Blind Side.

Henderson has now decided he doesn’t want to go to USC. If he transfers to another school, having signed a formal commitment to USC, NCAA rules require him to sit out for a year before becoming eligible to play. Unless the Trojans release him from his commitment. Which is what Kiffin just did.

Here’s a coach putting the good of the player first. Good news for a fan of both ethics and the Trojans.

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No shame at USC for NCAA sanctions. The USC response: “There was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans.”

June 11, 2010

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has imposed harsh penalties on the USC athletic program for disregarding NCAA rules and for permitting a general campus environment that made compliance efforts difficult.

USC is barred from post-season bowl games for two years, is losing ten scholarships a year for three years, is on probation for four years, and is docked 14 victories and probably the 2004 national championship, The bowl ban could be especially costly: the Rose Bowl paid its participating teams $13.5 million each last year.

USC’s sin: allowing super star Reggie Bush and his parents “impermissible benefits in the form of cash, merchandise, an automobile, housing, hotel lodging, and transportation…worth many thousands of dollars,” and allowing basketball star O. J. Mayo to collect “benefits in the form of cash, lodging, merchandise, automobile transportation, meals, airline transportation, and services.”

Pete Carroll, arguably the most successful football coach in America for the past nine years, was “absolutely shocked and disappointed” at the NCAA decision. He protested that “We didn’t know, the University didn’t know” about the Bush violations. Carroll may not have known, but Todd McNair, a USC assistant coach did. And athletic director Mike Garrett made it clear that he didn’t want to hear about the Mayo affair. (more…)

Sad time for Trojan fans. Does USC stand for Unequalled Sports Cheaters?

May 25, 2010

What a joy it was to watch USC football. The lightning-speed acrobatics of Reggie Bush. The instinctive pursuit of Brian Cushing. The hard hitting of Kevin Ellison. The exuberance of Pete Carroll. The elusiveness ­­­of Joe McKnight. So maybe the basketball program was corrupt, what with the underhanded payments to O. J. Mayo, the sneaking out of town by coach Tim Floyd, and the forfeiting of an entire season. Not good, but Trojan football! There was something to believe in.

Yes, there was the repeated taunting, showing off, and poor sportsmanship . There was the rub it in last minute touchdown pass en route to a pasting of UCLA. There was the suspicious ownership of a new car driven by Joe McKnight. But we never believed the charges of illegal payments to Reggie Bush’s parents, charges made by unsavory characters against All-American Reggie.

Now we’re rethinking the Bush situation, now that Brian Cushing, star linebacker for the Trojans before becoming the NFL defensive rookie of the year, was suspended for 2010’s first four games for using banned “performance-enhancing substances.” And now that former Trojan safety Kevin Ellison has been pulled over for speeding in a school zone, then arrested for possession of 100 Vicodin tablets. With so much wrongdoing involving Trojan footballers, why not believe Saint Reggie was corrupt too. Especially with USC’s (more…)


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