My Take: The Reggie Bush situation
Since this story broke there have been a lot of posts and articles with varying opinions. Most have been of a partisan tone either from rivals or from those who simply,for whatever reason, dislike SC. That's fine, everyone has got something or someone they dislike. Others from SC apologists who can't see the potential damage that may have been done to a proud program.
It is disappointing to hear that the Bush family is dragging its feet in cooperating with the Pac 10 or the NCAA. That kind of attitude sends a lot of wrong messages. Most obvious is that they have something to hide. But more important to me is the appearance of just not caring. In their eyes why should they. Reggie's left school and will make his millions in the NFL. Leaving SC behind to deal with the fallout of what I see as a serious lapse in judgement which has now morphed into just another selfish act by an athlete. Couldn't his family have waited? Whatever the fianancial dire straights they were in they would been wiped away once Reggie signed his first contract. It has not been reported anywhere that I could find that prior to renting the house in question that Reggie's family was about to be thrown out to the curb, so why the rush.
If true, his actions have put in jeopardy one of the most impressive accomplishments in college football history. By not coming clean and cooperating with the powers at be, he gives the perception of just not caring. Reggie has continuously stated that "when the truth comes out you'll see we did nothing wrong". Uhm, one problem Reggie, by not cooperating and presenting your side of the story how will we know what the truth is. The image that Bush and his family put forth at the Heisman ceramony will always be burned in my mind which was one of love and respect. I have shared those same type of emotions with my own step father. So I get it. His family is close knit unit and have tried to the right thing in how they raised Reggie and his brother.
Like it or not when former players of their respective institutions get into trouble it does make the institution look bad. If you don't beleive me just bring up OJ. The appearences of greed, entitlement and lack of concern further injure SC's image. An image that has already taken some major hits lately. This dilema is solved by telling the truth. Society has proven time and again that it can forgive trangressions if one acts humbly and with candor. Though I'm not sure the NCAA and their rules committee lives by that same standard.
In the end I'm not sure which way it will break. But if infractions are found to have taken place SC is sure to pay and that will be a shame. I'm not so naive to think that Reggie didn't know anything; of course he did. He needs to tell the truth and tell it NOW! Reggie can go a long way to start restoring SC's image by doing just that.
More to come soon.