USC Football: It’s Time to Reinstate Reggie Bush

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Once upon a time, a kid named Reggie Bush had a dream. That dream was to play football at the highest level.

RELATED: 5 Best USC Football Moments of the Pete Carroll Era

Reggie met a guy named Pete and decided to join the USC Trojans in hopes of catapulting himself to greatness by leading the team to a National Championship.

Not only did Reggie help lead USC to two National Championships, but he also won a Heisman Trophy. His No. 5 jersey was retired and enshrined in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Reggie would be drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the NFL Draft at No. 2 overall. Finally, the kid had grown up and his dreams were coming true.

Then, the dream would turn to cold hard reality. Where there is much success grows much envy.

Head coach Pete Carroll had created a dynasty at USC. The last thing southern football wanted or needed.

USC is a program rich in a winning tradition, located in Los Angeles and is a launch pad for NFL careers. What other program can boast that? What program can compete with that?

August 1, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush (23) during training camp at Levi

Stories began to circulate about Reggie Bush. Had he received inappropriate benefits from boosters? Did he sign with an agent while still enrolled at USC? His parents live in a really nice new house down in San Diego. Hmmmm.

The NCAA tried desperately to find any connection with the University and the allegations. None could be found. However, the organization’s bias against USC was made obvious when they brought the hammer down anyway, hiding behind “the lack of institutional control” decree.

To round out the hypocrisy and deceit, the Committee of Infractions chairman and former Miami Hurricanes Athletic Director Paul Dee, oversaw the case and handed down the ruling. Dee’s fifteen-year career saw Miami players receiving improper benefits including but not limited to federal, university and booster provided money in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as yacht parties fueled with drugs and prostitution.

If the party was over in South Beach, why should South Central have any fun?

Bush became the target and the poster boy for NCAA infractions. In the midst of winning the Super Bowl with the Saints, Bush became the first Heisman Trophy winner to return the award. He was banned from USC and his jersey was removed from Heritage Hall.

Pete Carroll left USC for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks right before the ruling was announced. Athletic Director Mike Garrett resigned after hiring Carroll’s replacement Lane Kiffin. USC lost out on two bowl games and thirty scholarships, which added up to five years probation.

This past summer emails were released showcasing members and liaisons to the NCAA’s Committee of Infractions were heavily in favor of hitting USC as hard as possible, and without any evidence to back up any of their claims.

They hit running backs coach Todd McNair the hardest with claims that he knew all about Bush’s improper benefits, which would invariably link the school to any wrongdoing.

If the NCAA lose their entire case against USC will be bunk. Their sanctions will have been handed down on falsified claims.

McNair lost his job at USC and was black balled by college football. He sued the NCAA and thanks to those emails from committee liaison Shep Cooper and panel members Roscoe Howard and Rodeny Uphoff claiming McNair was a “criminal” as well as Laura Wytsma’s inability to coherently defend the NCAA in Appeals Court, McNair is on the verge of winning.

If the NCAA loses, and the assumption amongst experts and non-experts alike is that they will, their entire case against USC will be bunk. Their sanctions will have been handed down on falsified claims.

Now out of the dark cloud of sanctions, the USC football program is on the verge of winning. It’s also on the verge of being vindicated.

That leads us back to Mr. Bush, now a seasoned veteran on the tail end of a career in football that has seen a lot of on the field success and a few unwanted distractions off of it.

It’s finally time for Reggie Bush to come home.

When the court inevitably rules in favor of McNair and against the NCAA, Bush should be reinstated immediately.

Only time will tell if the NCAA will allow this to happen, and if they don’t, will USC take action to ensure it can?

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It’s time for the university and the football program that benefited greatly from his athleticism and hard work to welcome Bush back with open arms.

It’s time for the Heisman Trust to trust one of their own and give Bush back what is rightfully his.

It’s time for the Trojan Family to forgive one of their own.

There’s a new tradition at USC. Former Trojan greats lead the team onto the football field at each home game.

USC plays UCLA on Saturday, Nov. 28. There is a very good chance a ruling will be handed down by then. So No. 5 should lead the team that night.

Athletic director Pat Haden wants Reggie Bush to come back into the fold. Hopefully this long arduous journey will end with No. 5 being surrounded in a familiar place. Home.