Bush Behaving Badly

By Adam Caparell - September 15, 2006


The news out of USC involving Reggie Bush doesn’t sound good.

The report outlining how Bush and his family accepted more than $100,000 worth of illegal benefits is causing quite a stir. And rightfully so.

There is a lot at stake for both Bush and USC. If the allegations are proven true by the NCAA, it could cost USC big time.

Bush could possibly lose his Heisman Trophy and his eligibility. Heisman trustees reportedly are looking for fast closure on the issue as there is no precedent for removing a Heisman winner.

Unfortunately, the evidence seems to be mounting against Bush, who issued a statement saying he and his family "did nothing wrong" and that in due time, the truth will come out. The report is well detailed and lays out numerous violations that both Bush and his family knowingly engaged in.

It would be a real shame if it actually ever came down to Bush losing the Heisman. I'd be shocked if it did and let’s hope it doesn’t. But the evidence seems to be mounting against Bush. It looks like he and his family were too involved, too engaged in far too many inappropriate financial gains from marketing representatives and other companies to have clean hands.

If the NCAA can prove the infractions were committed, USC will pay a heavy price and could very well face heavy sanctions and punishment. Records and stats could be wiped out, but it won’t lose the national titles because Division I-A football is the only championship the NCAA does not hand out.

There are also the allegations that USC knowingly allowed marketing representatives and others with no affiliation to the school on the sidelines for games then the school should be subject to sanctions. Whether it’s scholarship reductions, bowl bans or whatever punishment the NCAA could possible hand out, it will be justifiable in my opinion. That's showing you don't know what's going on with your program and using poor, poor judgment. Pete Carroll is going to be at the center of this ongoing story as much as anyone.

And right now, it’s not looking so good for either Bush or USC. Stay tuned for this one.

On to the field. . . That was some performance against Maryland Steve Slaton put on Thursday.

The West Virginia running back was just sensational, sprinting past Terp defender after Terp defender and showing how he’s arguably the most talented running back in the country.

Pat White also showed off an impressive arm as the ACC took another one of the chin from a non-conference opponent.

If Louisville can keep up its end of the bargain and beat Miami this weekend, how great is that Thursday night matchup between the Cardinals and Mountaineers going to be Nov. 2?

But back to Slaton for a minute. You can’t say enough about him. He has to be right up there with all the other Heisman candidates, but will have not shot at realistically winning it if you subscribe to the Heismandments. But he’s one of the most electrifying players in the game. West Virginia is appropriately placed, rankings wise right now as they should roll right into that Louisville matchup.

Predictions

Auburn (-3) over LSU
The one I keep flip-flopping on. I like Auburn’s offense, even though Kenny Irons is banged up. But how can you not like LSU’s defense that hasn’t given up a TD in its last three games? The more I think about the game, the more I think LSU’s defense will get the job done with JaMarcus Russell playing very well so far this season. But I picked Auburn to make it to the national championship game, so I’ll go with the home Tigers with Brandon Cox doing enough to get them the win. The home field advantage is what’s causing me to stay with Auburn.

Notre Dame (-5.5) over Michigan
Lloyd Carr needs this game badly. But he’s not going to get it. Michigan hasn’t won a road opener since 1999 and Carr has a history of not winning these big games. Michigan has two wins over Vanderbilt and Central Michigan. Notre Dame has two wins over Georgia Tech and Penn State. Other reasons why I like the Irish: Michigan’s pass defense has been poor and so has Chad Henne. If the Irish can force a turnover or two on defense, I think they’ll win it by a wide margin.

Florida (-3.5) over Tennessee
Chris Leak is playing about as well as ever and Tennessee’s defense didn’t look so great hosting Air Force. Which Vols D shows up: the one that gave Cal problems or the one against Air Force. For Tennessee, CB Inky Johnson is out of the season, DT Justin Harrell has a biceps injury that will end his season after this game and Urban Meyer’s spread attack is flying high. Phil Fulmer has a history not beating Florida in these heavyweight matchups at home. Florida by two scores.

Louisville (-4.5) over Miami
Despite Louisville being favored, people are still picking Miami in this game, and it’s understandable. The Hurricanes defense is one of the best in the nation. There’s no Michael Bush for the Cardinals. But I just think Louisville finds a way to get it done with Brian Brohm at home. They’ve been talking about this game for so long and I’m still not sold on Kyle Wright.

USC (-18.5) over Nebraska
Be careful what you ask for, Nebraska. USC is no Nicholls State or Louisiana Tech. I think the Trojans bombard the Cornhuskers through the air with Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith. Trojans by 30.

Last Week: 3-2
Season: 7-3

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:22 PM on September 15, 2006
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