This is no Tribute to Troy
November 9, 2006
Before the college football season started, USC was not one of the favorites to play in January’s Bowl Championship Series title game. With a difficult stretch of successive opponents such as Oregon, California, Notre Dame and UCLA on the schedule, it appeared that there was just a slim chance that the Trojans would finish the regular season undefeated.
But, lo and behold, USC enters that stretch of games this week already with a loss. Little did we know that when Oregon State would go up against the Trojans, the Beavers would come out on top, 33-31.
Still, there is some hope with its highly rated remaining schedule, and possible losses by teams ranked ahead of them, that USC could move up the BCS chart to No. 2 and play for the title anyway. If there is any justice, however, that will not happen. USC’s football program should sooner be put on probation than enjoy that experience.
Last season star player Reggie Bush clearly did not live the life of your average student-athlete. Bush and his family traveled around in rented cars and limousines, stayed at posh hotels, and wore top-of-the-line clothing. Not only did the Bush family allegedly receive $15,000 weekly payments from agents, the Bushes never paid rent on a $750,000 house that they leased from one of them.
If these circumstances are somehow proven to be true, then Bush was actually an ineligible player at the time, and should be forced to forfeit his Heisman Trophy. Texas’ Vince Young showed on the field against USC that he deserved the trophy for best player anyhow.
Of course, last year’s star quarterback at USC Matt Leinart also had his issues with rent. Leinart’s dad paid $5,350 of wide receiver and roommate Dwayne Jarrett’s rent, which somehow a suspended Jarrett must have reimbursed, because he was then reinstated to the team.
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Besides those problems, within the last year USC has had to endure the backup quarterback and another player being arrested for sexual assault, a defensive end involved in a battery and vandalism incident, a linebacker punching out a guy at a bar, and a positive steroid test. The team has regressed from being referred to as the University of Spoiled Children, and is now being known as the North LA Forty.
It is understood that student-athletes will get into trouble from time to time, especially in big cities such as Los Angeles and Miami. But when is the punishment coming for USC’s football team? Did Bush’s agent or Leinart’s dad pay off the NCAA too?
The party’s over for this year, as it still appears that USC will lose at least one of its four remaining regular season games, most likely to California. Even running the table will probably not be good enough for USC to reach a third consecutive BCS title game.
Considering Bush’s transgressions while in school, and the lack of punishment thereof, USC doesn’t deserve it anyway. Trojans can be good for certain things, but right now football isn’t one of them.
In case handicappers haven’t noticed, another year of college basketball has already begun. If you follow and wager on college hoops, you know that the sport can be a real moneymaker. Just by the sheer numbers of games on any given day, one can find winners on a consistent basis.
When all is said and done after the regular season, it’s off to the conference tourneys, and then one of the greatest tournaments in all of sports, the one affectionately known as March Madness. Now, if only college football people could create some kind of playoff like in basketball….but that’s a story for another time.