Right and wrong collide for New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush after relinquishing Heisman
METAIRIE – Within 60 minutes Thursday at the training facility of the World Champion New Orleans Saints, we had an innocent collision between what is believed to be right and perceived to be wrong inside our sporting world.
Around 2:30 p.m., quarterback Drew Brees and nine teammates presented a check for $100,000 to the administration of Sojourner Truth Academy of Uptown New Orleans to get its fledgling football program off the ground.
The 10-player philanthropic consortium each donated $5,000 with a matching $50,000 grant coming from the Saints’ organization and NFL Youth Programs. A handful of wide-eyed student-athletes from the school’s junior varsity team held the ceremonial check for a photo opportunity in the media room.
Around 3:30 p.m., as those aforementioned youths mingled inside the locker room with their new Black-and-Gold heroes, Saints running back Reggie Bush explained to reporters who had gathered near the outdoor practice fields why he has decided to surrender the 2005 Heisman Trophy.
Some observers are saying that Bush beat the Heisman Trophy Trust to the punch. That the New York group was going to strip him of the award soon because he had compromised his college eligibility at Southern California by allegedly receiving improper benefits from marketing and sports agents in 2004 and ’05.
I imagine the 25-year-old Bush might have looked at football through rose-colored glasses 10 years ago, when it was just a game to him and not a business, much like those impressionable, young men from Sojourner Truth Academy probably did on Thursday.
Two separate events, yes. But the irony is overtly palpable.
“This is not an admission of guilt,’’ Bush told reporters. “It’s the most respectable thing to do. It’s my way of showing my respect to the Heisman Trophy itself, and to the people who came before me and the people who will come after me. This is the best thing for me and for the Heisman Trust right now.
But, “this is not an admission of guilt.’’
On Tuesday, nearly five years after joining one of sports’ most elite fraternities, Bush became the first player in the history of the 75-year award to forfeit the Heisman Trophy.
After conferring with family, friends and business associates, and admittedly going against the wishes of most, Bush took it upon himself to vacate the award and return the 25-pound, 13.5-inch-tall bronze bust, which annually is given to the “outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.’’
I'm just glad he'll be able to finally take another step forward in his journey in being the player he is developing into.That baggage had to have taken a toll on him reguardless of how well he covered it up.I've been a Reggie backer since the day he was drafted;While I didn't steer away from my belief of his potential I did acquire a few gray hairs!LOL
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