The large question about whether or not former USC running back and current New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush should return the Heisman Trophy he won in 2005 isn’t a matter of when but why?

Before we get into Bush-gate, let me clarify something. Anytime the NCAA happens to hand down any sort of punishment, the results look as flimsy as a Lindsay Lohan jail stint. Their first idea is to strip away victories, an idea that’s ludicrous since they’re taking away things which have already happened. Although we’re not talking about a penalty as severe the SMU “Death Penalty” here where the school was barred from fielding a team in 1987 plus no home games in 1988 which kept the program dormant for almost 20 years.

While the NCAA wants to walk away like an upstanding parent here, watching a program that gave college football even more exposure in a city without an NFL team and then finally turning away from it once a downturn is found is sad. It’s like breaking up with a pretty girl once everybody starts talking bad about her.

I understand the fact that there are rules, but stripping away someone of an award they won on the field in which they didn’t have any artificial substances to make them better to earn the award is crazy. I doubt receiving everything he did made Reggie Bush a better football player. People in the NFL get salaries, yet only ONE person winds up being the MVP.

In 2005, Bush didn’t do anything to make himself a step above everyone else on the field, no performing enhancement drugs, no way of trying to fix games to pad stats or anything. He simply took money off the field for benefit purposes, which is quite ironic since the NCAA uses player likeness to generate money with video games, jersey sales and whatever else the governing body can get their hands on. Penalizing USC by making them disregard any knowledge of Bush or former basketball player O.J. Mayo doesn’t send a message to anybody.

Attempting the wipe away the memory of Reggie Bush by returning his replica Heisman Trophy and removing his image from anywhere in the school is kind of hypocritical. Another USC running back who won a Heisman Trophy there currently sits in jail on robbery charges and was acquitted of double murder back in 1995. USC hasn’t done anything about the “juice” there, have they?

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We saw Bush aid the Trojans in belittling Oklahoma in 2004 to win the National Championship, we saw Mayo get the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in the year he was there. They happened, you can’t erase that. Same for Chris Webber at Michigan. Every single time Bush took a handoff on the field in 2005, you wondered was he going to head straight to the end zone. This was the new generation’s Barry Sanders, a player who could have broken ankles and turned heads on a football field. And now they want to simply call him a “cheater” over a handout from a booster?

We tell athletes they get to travel to events across the country, take lax courses and have school paid for but for every athletic feat they achieve on the field (where the real money is made) they get nothing for it and its unfair if somebody does pay them for it? Aren’t we already doing that with scholarships, grants and other kick backs given to athletes? The NCAA is a pimp in itself. You can make moves around them, but if they don’t get a cut of this action, it’s a swift punishment being dished your way.

Although, Nick Saban calling somebody a pimp and a harbinger of doom to young kids makes me chuckle, since after all he did leave a group of kids to go to take a NFL check and once he soured out went back to the kids.

Vince got the last laugh in 2006.

If the Heisman Trust does decide to strip Bush of the Heisman Trophy, do they automatically cede it off to the runner-up, in this case former University of Texas quarterback Vince Young? Sorry, even Vince wouldn’t want to win the trophy like that. As much justice as Vince made in the National Championship Game four years ago in Pasadena, given him an award retroactively only makes the Trust seem foolish for giving Bush the trophy in the first place. Besides, the voting that year for the trophy was so lopsided, nearly 90% of the voters declared Bush the victor over Young & Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart.

If the NCAA really wanted to do something serious to the Trojans besides stripping them of scholarships or bowl bans is simple: take away every single cent the program earned during the time of infraction. Meaning, they’ve got to give up the payout the BCS gave them for making the National Championship Game in back-to-back seasons amongst other things. That simple. Otherwise you’re letting USC get off easy with the notion that although you cheated, take off a couple years and you’ll be back to normal.

Everybody wants to damn Reggie Bush about this, even with the Trojans pushing out their former, delusional athletic director Mike Garrett and replacing him with straight laced Notre Dame football color man Pat Haden. However, there’s no possible way you can damn someone who made all of his accomplishments on a level playing field.

Besides, the only thing I’ve ever seen Reggie use with any of the alleged money he’s taken is stock up on a fitted hat collection and try to make everyone forget that his former beau Kim Kardashian made a sextape with Ray J.  Nothing of serious merit will occur to Bush, he doesn’t lose anything and neither does Pete Carroll. The egg gets laid on USC and the NCAA will only stand in front of them, forcing them to clean it up.