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Reggie Bush ain't looking too clean

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by The Big Ragu, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. If you feel sorry for Reggie Bush or USC, you're crazy. Both of them knew exactly what they're doing. I'm not totally versed on Bush's family situation, but I don't think they were impoverished. They were working class, but it's not like they were a step away from foreclosure.

    Bottom-line: They couldn't wait to cash the lottery ticket. I admit, it would be hard for me if I were Reggie Bush. You know that you'll have millions in a few years/months, and this is essentially taking a payday advance.

    But rules are rules. We all gotta follow 'em in any sector of society, whether we think they're fair or not. Reggie and his family saw the dollar signs and got greedy.

    While I think Reggie may be embarrassed for his family and maybe himself, ultimately I don't think he gives a shit. Nothing will happen to him.

    As for USC, they knew. Coaches can tell you what their quarterback had for breakfast, so there is no way Pete Carroll had no idea his star running back wasn't getting a little sumthin' under the table. If you notice your kid is galavanting off to Las Vegas at will, wearing expensive clothes and riding in a tricked-out car, then you know something is up. Coaches turn their backs because they don't want to piss these guys off and in a way, allowing certain agents a little bit of access helps them recruit.

    Most people have grossly underestimated how much this stuff happens. I am of the opinion EVERYBODY cheats. I don't know how you could survive in D-1 without cheating.
  2. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    Lots of interesting arguments here, some of which are viewed through the prism of our own experiences (don't make millions, think a college education has intrinsic value etc).
    The only one I really don't buy is that Reggie Bush, or any other similar to him, did "get paid", i.e. the value of a college education, or a couple years of one.

    It's a specious argument because, let's say, it's worth $120K. To whom? He can't trade in part of it to rent his folks an apartment. It's not cash value. If anything, it's intangible value.

    And, to someone like Bush, it's actually pretty much worthless. It would be like gifting someone who can't drive with a Rolls Royce. And not even that, because at least you could let someone else drive you around in the Rolls.

    And, as already mentioned, that "value" is far out of proportion to the money the university may receive in return. And I do understand those are the rules, but it's not like a guy like Bush has any other option.

    It's also not like, realistically, the football players have the extra time you and I can make available to work at Burger King or wherever. They have a more than full-time job already.

    Perhaps, in rare cases, the university could "lend" the value of the tuition to the player, perhaps take an insurance policy out for the value of the amount of money. That player would then be able to sign with an agent and get money, and since he's not technically on scholarship, could do as he pleases off the field. I don't think you actually have to have a scholarship to play on the team, do you?

    Failing that, if signing with an agent, make part of that agreement to reimburse the tuition to the school. Then they could indeed offer that scholarship to someone else.

    Obviously I'm clueless as to the rules of what kind of an "amateur" athlete you have to be to qualify for the NCAA. But you could certainly get around that. The player wouldn't actually be making a living playing the sport. Technically, you could make him an employee of the agent's company, I guess.

    Let's say you're technically lawyer (I know this isn't logical). And you return to school to play football. Presumably you can continue to practice law and be paid handsomely for it, while still playing for the school?

    Something of that nature might actually rid the organization of the current farce. And it certainly would be limited to the real blue-chippers, because no one is going to take a financial risk like that on someone who isn't going to make it financially viable for them.

    Wasn't there a kid in Florida (football player - forgive my lack of memory) who took out an insurance policy on himself when he returned to school for his senior year? He was critically injured (I'm thinking neck), and there was a payout.
    Perhaps something along those lines.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Pilot, not sure where to begin. How is Maurice Clarett not evidence of the fact that the idea of the "student-athlete" is a farce when it comes to DI football and basketball? He's the poster child for what I am saying. In what universe did (or does) a guy like that normally pursue a college education? You are deciding "college would be good for him," when Ohio State doesn't accept guys like that if they can't play football. And if it wasn't a potential path to the NFL, he likely wouldn't have chosen to go to there. The only thing validating that mad system is your judgment that he can't decide for himself and you know that college is the best path for him.

    I'm saying pretty much what you think. Let the open market decide everything. Reggie Bush didn't have to do anything shifty or corrupt. There were agents lined up ready to give him bags of money. There'd have been a hundred plus NCAA programs lined up, if it was legal. If the NFL and NCAA weren't in cahoots, and the NFL had to operate like ANY business, you'd have had teams drafting him before he was ready and paying him a huge signing bonus to play in a developmental league somewhere. That would be good business. If his college education was more important to him, why not let HIM make the decision that he wants to forgo money and get his degree instead of your ridiculous notions of "College is good for a young man" taking away his choices?

    The "legalize drugs because everyone is doing it" argument is ridiculous. Are you suggesting that Reggie Bush LEGALLY taking money others were tripping all over themselves to give him, is comparable to that... or somehow morally wrong... or in any way compromised his giving full effort on the field? You really think those two things are analogous in any way? Survey 100 people randomly, and ask, 1) "Do you think drugs are bad or morally wrong?" 2) "Do you think an athlete who accepts money for his abilities is bad or morally wrong?" See what most people think.

    The AFL or CFL statement is equally ridiculous. The AFL and CFL are not where you go to get noticed by NFL teams. They are where you go when aren't good enough for the NFL. How many players make the jump from the NCAA to the NFL every year? How many make the jump from the AFL every year? You tell me, which path YOU'D want to take if you were 17, had your whole future ahead of you, and thought you had the talent for the NFL? You'd sabotoge your chances of being noticed by the NFL to play in the CFL, while the rest of the world had its attention fixed on the Big 10 or SEC? Yeah right. How rightous of you.

    If you had some amazing talent, and people were offering you gobs of money because of it, how would you feel about some warped set of rules that didn't do any greater good and didn't allow you to take the money, while at the same time you were watching others rake in money off your talent? Most people would feel bitter and hosed. It's really easy to pontificate when you're not the shithead getting taken advantage of.
  4. daemon

    daemon Well-Known Member

    One point, then I'll hang up and listen:

    Why not give athletes two options:

    Either accept a scholarship and abide by eligibility rules surrounding interaction with agents; or pay your own way and be free to make your money however you see fit.
  5. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Layman presents good information, even though I'm going to disagree with the conclusion.

    The main fact is that a lot of people were wearing USC jerseys with number 5. The USC also increased the number of hats, shirts, etc. A lot more people are wearing USC shirts than Pepperdine or Loyola Marymount shirts.

    Layman is correct that most colleges, if you take accounting strictly, lose money on their programs if you talk about what you pay coaches, scholarships, travel and other expenses and compare it to ticket sales, television rights, etc.

    However, I was a part-time SID at a small Division III school about 20 years ago. I made maybe $200 a week - during football season I worked 25 hours a week and the rest of the year I probably worked 15 hours a week. The college was financially troubled and closed because it was a private college which couldn't attract enough students.

    I once figured out that if I got four articles in the largest area newspaper because of my efforts, the college got back in publicity or advertising what it paid me. The college also got me to take care of all information requests, file reports with the NCAA and conferences, and to run stat tables for football and basketball games. No complaints - I loved the job and would do it again (maybe for a little more money because it was almost 20 years ago). The point I'm making is that you can't put a value on advertising and how sports affects fund raising. It also means something because when you go for a job interview, a USC graduate will have an advantage over somebody who graduates from Cal State Los Angeles.

    Many D-1 football and basketball players are working-class or lower-class in terms of family income, so if those students were regular students they would get tuition paid for based on income. Having a child get a full-ride would probably mean more financially to an middle-income or upper-middle income family than it would a working-class or poor family, because they would get financial aid anyway. That's where the "these students are getting an education worth $120,000" argument falls apart. The students have no options - they can't take the money and start of business.

    At the least, Division I athletes should be employed on a work-study basis. The are obligated to attend practices, workout in weight rooms, and travel to and from to games. That takes a considerable amount of time a week. If a college makes a post-season bowl game or the NCAA tournament, the athletes should see some money.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    You could kiss football players under scholarship at certain schools (Miami, Florida, USC, Notre Dame, etc.) goodbye. I'm thinking agents would sign up every player at certain schools before their freshmen years (when you start to know if they are any good). All you'd have to do is front $20,000 a year for their education and pay them something on top of it, in exchange for a percentage of their potential future earnings. If you clicked on one out of every 10 players you signed, I am sure you'd be doing well--with one Peyton Manning type contract at any point being like hitting the lottery. It might also have the effect of widening the gap between top schools and the second tier. If you were a prized recruit, you'd want to go to Miami even more, because that'd be the place the agents were handing out money like candy. Not saying it's a bad idea, or necessarily worse than what we have, but there'd probably be a lot of side effects worth thinking about.
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Yo, Big,

    Do you actually want to start a minor league football league, or do you somehow want to convert college into that?

    I think we both agree the situation sucks and the temptation would be great for a student athlete who will make money in the NFL to get a head start. I was trying to say if they want to make their money, the AFL and CFL are the only other options now ... legally. Those options may suck, but they do exist. Maybe they'll go up there and go away, but they won't if they're good enough. No one would have forgotten about Clarett if he'd played in the CFL for a year. People won't forget about R. Williams. People don't jump from those leagues to the NFL because most people fall from the NFL to those leagues. If Bush had gone to Canada as a freshman, everyone would have known this huge recruit went up there to get paid and everyone would have watched and paid attention. As much attention as he got at USC and the Rose Bowl? No. No way, but he'd be trading that spotlight for a paycheck and the right to not have to go to class (yeah right) every day. NFL teams would give him a chance because he had never failed out of the NFL, he had just never tried. Heck, Clarett didn't do anything at all and he still got a chance. Players don't HAVE to go to college. The way things are, it's just the best option though.

    My point about Clarett earlier wasn't that a degree would help him or English Lit 101 would help him, but that being in the controlled environment of a college team, staying in shape would have helped him and playing 11 or 12 times a year against the nation's best college competition would help him. Clearly he needed that control, that experience and that competition because without it, he failed. Now he could have gotten it in Canada too, maybe. It doesn't have to come from a college, in his case that was just the best way. I guess I'm not saying he needed OSU, just that he needed what OSU could give him -- experience and help.
  8. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Another thing (and sorry if this has been touched upon):

    Why am I hearing in stories that Bush could possibly lose his Heisman? Why in the fuck am I hearing that?

    If I'm the DAC, I'm telling the NCAA to go shit in its collective hat.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Pilot, No one knew for sure that Reggie Bush was Reggie Bush until he was at USC. For every Reggie Bush that gets recruited by USC and becomes Reggie Bush, there is a Joe Nobody who goes to USC and goes nowhere. Now put yourself in Reggie Bush's shoes coming out of high school. You can try to make your name at USC, an NCAA program that pits you against the best young talent, and because of that, puts you in line to get drafted if you do well. Or you are suggesting you can try to make your name in the CFL, place where there are guys who weren't good enough to make in in the NFL, and which doesn't get nearly the same notice from the NFL. Someone can do really well in the CFL, and there is still a chance he's going to get overlooked. Which path would you want your fate riding on? Ricky Williams won't be forgotten because he had to go to the CFL. But if he hadn't made his name at Texas first, and then in the NFL because of what he did at Texas, there would be nothing to potentially forget.
  10. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    So .... Reggie Bush should go to college and follow the rules. If he wants to make some cash, he has options -- CFL and AFL. Those options suck. His best chance to make big bucks some day is to go to college and make sure he does what he has to do to stay in college.

    I just think paying players opens up a huge can of worms. People will still cheat, better players will want more, better teams will pay more ... I just don't think it will work, especially not any better than it does now.
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Shotty, The NCAA can't dictate that he lose his Heisman. It's that the Heisman Trophy Trust (the DAC is no more) might choose to take it away from him. The Heisman Ballot says something like, "... the recipient of the award MUST be a bona fide student of an accredited college or university including the United States Academies. The recipients must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete."

    If he's found to have not been in compliance, the question is do they snatch it from him because he wasn't eligible. No one is saying that is what they'd do, but it is a possibility. I'm sure Vince Young wouldn't want to be awarded it that way.
  12. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I hope, if that is the case, there's a conference call between the Nos. 2 through 10 finishers in which they all agree to tell the DAC to get bent when the Heisman is offered to them.

    Make them vacate it if they try to take the trophy away from the winner.
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