A HEISMAN FOR VINCE YOUNG?
Trust board should give award to ex-Horn
The eight-person Heisman Trust board will meet next week to determine not if Reggie Bush was the best player in college football in 2005, but whether the Southern Cal running back should keep his award signifying him as such.
The answer is a clear and resounding no, in both cases.
Vince Young was better that season, as he ultimately proved on that January night in Pasadena when Texas also won the national championship. He should receive the trophy retroactively because Bush deserves to be stripped of the honor after not upholding the values and ideals that the most prestigious award in all of sports embodies.
Consider this my public apology No. 3,527 since I voted Bush ahead of Young on my Heisman ballot — as did 784 of the 925 voters that year. I was unduly swayed by Bush’s electrifying performance on the field that season, pro scouts’ constant salivating over his NFL potential, Young’s rare, poor performance in his final game as a sort of tie-
breaker and a staunch commitment to avoid regional bias. And I was wrong. I will add that I am not convinced Texas would have beaten USC had Vince won the Heisman. In my entire career, I have never witnessed an athlete more motivated to correct what he considered a grave injustice. You could almost see the steam emanating from his ears.
Without his runner-up finish, Young might have lost a bit of his extra edge and incentive, and the Trojans might not have been as overconfident as they were had they been preparing to face Mr. Heisman.
Bush should lose his Heisman because he was deemed an ineligible player after accepting extra benefits. His school already has been ordered to disassociate itself from him, so the Heisman Trust’s course of action seems pretty clear if it wants to restore its credibility.
For those who suggest the Heisman folks should merely vacate the award and act as if the season never happened, I say: to what end? What would that achieve? It might not mean the same to Vince now as it would have 4½ years ago, but he’d forever be known as a Heisman winner.
Forget the asterisk. He’d get over the snub every time he looks at the 25-pound paperweight.
Hey, The Associated Press re-voted to give Texans linebacker Brian Cushing — ahem, another USC ex — the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year award after his suspension for performance enhancers, so there is some precedent. I’d favor a Heisman re-vote over simply vacating the trophy.
But, in truth, no re-vote should be necessary. Just give the thing to Vince. Besides, we know how Vince can get when he’s mad.
Reggie Bush should be stripped of college football’s highest honor.
Southern Cal tailback Reggie Bush, right, hugs Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart while Texas quarterback Vince Young looks on after Bush was announced as the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner.