ASK CFN (1/25) ... The Reggie Bush Situation
Former USC RB Reggie Bush
Former USC RB Reggie Bush
Posted Jan 24, 2008

The Reggie Bush situation still won't go away, but nothing appears to be happening from the NCAA. Can Rick Neuheisel immediately turn around UCLA and make it a power? These issues, who should to root for in the Super Bowl, and more in the latest ASK CFN.

By Pete Fiutak
Fire over your questions to me at I might not be able to answer them all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise. (Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the questions short ... it makes my life easier.)

Past ASK CFNs ...
- Is Bob Stoops the new Lloyd Carr?
- Why LSU winning matters
- Bowl winners & losers
- Can a two-loss team play for the title?
- The five worst recent champions 
- The Flakiest Teams
- A little BCS history
- Should USC be in the title hunt?
- The best RB you don't know
- What's wrong with Texas A&M? 
- How bad is the Big Ten?
- Will Miles run to Michigan?
- Supersized Season Premier of ASK CFN
 The most loved & hated teams
- Is Miami still a power?
- CFN's West Virginia ranking
- Is Booty Heisman-worthy?
- The USC Schedule
- The Big Ten Network
- The most underrated head coach
- The Top Ten NFL receiver prospects 

- Why did Brady Quinn slide?
- The Virginia Tech situation

- Creating a MWest-WAC super-league
Mid-majors who should be in the bigs
The potential new superpower
The 5 best coaching jobs
March Madness for football?
Potential Bowl Shockers
Tim Brewster?
Fox's BCS broadcasts
- Is Brady really better than Russell?
Hot & Cold Bowl Programs
- How ineffective was Reggie Ball?
- A 2007 Top 10 Mock Draft
Can Michigan win a national title?
- BCS possibilities for several teams
- West Virginia schedule, BCS rules
- Toughest coaching jobs
- Hidden Heisman 5

- Is Temple worst ever?
- Oklahoma-Oregon fiasco
- Has Bob Stoops lost it?
- Is Colorado done?

Is it just me, or is there a startling lack of concern about USC when the book Tarnished Heisman is supposed to come out soon? Maybe it's because I'm bitter, but Ohio State got dragged through the mud for what seemed like forever over the accusations of a jilted teen convicted of insurance fraud who's story was backed up by an ex-mental patient, and a friggin' novel is coming out on USC that could cost them a national title and a Heisman trophy and no one even seems to be batting an eyelash. Am I just being paranoid? – Brian, Columbus

Did you see the Real Sports piece on Reggie Bush and all the ways he and his family cheated? NOW do you believe how dirty USC has been? – FI

A: People, welcome to your intervention.

If you consider an athlete taking money from an agent/booster/superfan/all of the above, or his family getting cars and other perks, morally wrong in any way, then get out. Stop being a college sports fan, stop beating your head against the wall, and go watch pro sports, get into gardening, hang out with your kids, or do something else with your life and your passions because “cheating,” as the NCAA defines it, has always been a part of college sports, is as much a part of college tradition as the bands, bowls, and cheerleaders in tight sweaters, is currently a part of college sports, and will always be a part of college sports if the misguided and unfair rules continue to be in place.

If you’re a fan of Ohio State, or any other BCS conference team, then don’t pay two seconds worth of thought about the Reggie Bush situation and pray to whatever god you hit your knees at night to gab to that the truth doesn’t come out about your own program. Every program has something happening that could be constituted as a major NCAA violation. It's more pronounced for the programs with slews of pro prospects.

I know exactly what you're about to ask. “Fine, Mr. Smarty, so if my program is dirty, then why isn’t it getting nailed with any violations?”

You’re watching the Reggie Bush situation, right? You followed the joke that was the Darren McFadden SUV incident, didn’t you? For some reason, sometimes the NCAA drops the hammer, and sometimes it goes, Eh, whatever.

Rhett Bomar … BOOM. McFadden … zzzzz. Maurice Clarett … oh, well, he’s crazy so he couldn’t have been telling the truth. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Deep down you know exactly what’s going on, and again, if you’re fine with that, cool, and if you’re not, get out.

Some people do. Some people get sick of the hypocrisy and lose interest. For me, I know what’s going on, and since I’m for players being allowed to get outside money and perks, because there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH IT, I still love big-time college athletics. The faster you’re able to do the same, the more you’ll enjoy the on-field product.

To me, cheating is when a player injects himself with a human growth hormone so he can be bigger and faster than the next guy. Cheating is when a player turns in someone else’s term paper as his own. Cheating is when you set up cameras to steal other team’s signals and plays. A player breaking the law, the real law, necessitates action. A player benefiting from his celebrity by making a buck is the American way.

If you need some childish, antiquated notion of pure athletics, then go watch high school sports. Oh wait; you can’t watch high end high school basketball. Then go watch junior high school sports. Oh wait; forget about traveling teams that are robbing kids of their youth and joy for the game. Actually, go watch D-II and D-III football to get your fix, or get into non-revenue sports.

If you still have to be a high-end college sports fan, first of all, you have to rectify in your mind the difference between right and wrong. You have a problem with Reggie Bush allegedly getting 3K in cash a week? Then do you have a problem with players getting $500 worth of swag from the bowls? If that's O.K., then is $501 worth over the line? How about $5001? Why is it fair for the Champs Sports Bowl to give a kid an iPod or a Wii, but Joe Bob Booster can’t buy a player a pizza? Don’t fall for this garbage of rules are rules are rules; if they’re ridiculous and made up by ridiculous people, they demand to be broken.

As far as the Real Sports story, actually, I believed it before there was any sort of a story in the first place. Just like I’ll believe that almost all the five-star names the recruiting types are currently fawning all over will soon violate some silly NCAA rule, or have already done so.

I don’t mean to be a killjoy, but if you’re going to be a college sports fan, you have to know what’s going on and you have to be at peace with it. If you're surprised in any way about the Reggie Bush situation, then I'm sorry you took the red pill.

(From last week’s ASK CFN) I agree that Desmond Howard's pro career wasn't Hall of Fame worthy, but for an undersized receiver turned mostly return specialist, he did win a Super Bowl MVP.  That alone should keep him away from the top 5 pro busts. – SK

A: First of all, the question was referring to which legendary college players were the biggest busts and wasn’t about who the biggest all-time busts were. Ryan Leaf wasn’t a college football all-timer. Second, “undersized” has nothing to do with anything; it’s not like Howard didn’t have all-world talent. He was the fourth pick in the draft, which means he needed to have been a perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Washington Redskins and not just a return guy for another team. You and I could’ve been the Super Bowl MVP against the Patriots with the blocking Howard received (including a major clip that never got called). I didn’t include Howard in my five, but yeah, considering he was one of the greatest college wide receivers ever, he was one of the all-time biggest busts for the Washington Redskins.

Nice article (on Recruiting 2008 - What You Need To Know), but it sort of illustrates how much the recruiting gurus hype everything up to sell subscriptions.  According to your article & particularly the quotes guys who cover them, all coaches previewed are having an outrageous, insane, incredible bumper crop of prospects this year.  In world with finite resources this does not quite seem possible. – MAC

A: You’re right. You’ll never hear a coach hold a press conference dogging his class because, for the most part, everyone goes after certain guys for a reason, and most of the time, they know who they’re going to get. There’s always going to be drama among the elite of the elite stars, but that doesn’t mean, say, Ohio State isn’t going to bring in a great class if it doesn’t get Terrell Pryor. My problem is that not enough is made of the programs that don’t get the four and five-star guys but get the players who fit the system, like West Virginia, Wisconsin and Texas Tech are able to do. You can win without the superstars, but you’ve got to nail it on the guys you do get.

Why is it year in and year out the PAC-10 gets no respect from writers? – JP

A: For doing what? The problem with Pac 10 fans screaming for respect is that it goes both ways. USC always gets the benefit of the doubt, but who else in the conference has demanded and earned the respect you’re craving? You do have a point since most writers on the other side of the Mississippi never really watch Pac 10 football, but that’s ignorance more than a bias. However, when you do have writers, like ours, who do watch all the games and points out when a conference is going into the tank, like the Pac 10 did over the second half of last year, then you can’t pull the “bias” or the lack of respect tag out of your pocket. It’s all about being fair and balanced, and I thought we were when the league bounced back and had a good bowl season.
My question to you is, as a college football fan, who would you rather see win the Super Bowl?  New England is unquestionably the best team in the NFL.  On the one hand, they deserve it.  It would be a shame for them to lose one game all season, yet not be considered "champions" because their one loss came on Super Bowl Sunday and not week 3 of the meaningless regular season.  On the other hand, should the Giants win the rematch, wouldn't it prove the NFL playoffs are just as flawed as the BCS?  Who could possibly argue that New York was the best team in the NFL when they were the 5th seed in the NFC and didn't even win their own division? – MM

A: New England, but I don’t really care that much outside of wanting the sad 1972 Miami Dolphin team, among the most overrated in all of sports history, to finally be muzzled. If New York wins, that just goes to show how little the NFL season really matters and what a fluke the playoffs can be, but whatever. To me, the Super Bowl is amateur hour. I’m a much bigger fan of the beginning of the year, and I’m an even bigger fan of the nuts and bolts of training camp, the draft, and all that goes into putting together a team in the first place.

On a scale to 10 please tell me how delusional I am.   I think that if bad coaching could take UCLA from a pre-season 10 win team to a 6-7 embarrassment then good coaching can take a team with more modest expectations to great heights.  Is it too much for me to expect that Rick Neuheisel and company can do for UCLA what Dennis Erikson did for ASU? – Alex, Las Vegas

A: 10, but it has nothing to do with UCLA. What gets lost in the Bruin coaching situation was how hurt the team was. Karl Dorrell wasn’t a bad head coach, and I’ve always been on the record saying he got a bad rap. Does he deserve to get hammered for not having a No. 3 quarterback who could play? Maybe, but what team would succeed with all the skill players hitting the infirmary. Of course, in a city like Los Angeles, a pro-style town that’s used to USC being a national player every year, it's all about winning, and there will be little grace period for Neuheisel. Yes, considering how big a program UCLA is, anything less than a winning season will be unacceptable.

Why is the national perception of WVU right now that it is the "psycho" girlfriend who can't get over the fact that it lost it's coach to a "better" program?  NOBODY in West Virginia cares about Rich Rodriquez. We're over it: he's gone, we have a new coach (and if you haven't noticed, a much better defensive coaching staff and 3 coaches who made lateral moves from the SEC to join the party) and we're ready for '08. EVERYBODY, however, cares about the $4 million he contractually agreed, in August, would be the appropriate measure of damages if he resigned before August 2008.  Why is that so hard for people (and the media) to understand?  If Fox owed you $4 million and publicly stated it wasn't going to pay you, would you "let it go?" – AA

A: There’s more to it than that. Yeah, of course you want the 4-mildo, but if it weren’t for all the bizarre outside things happening, you’d think the program would’ve blown it off considering Rodriguez put the program on the elite of the elite map. Don Nehlan had his moments, but West Virginia was a perennial punching bag in the bowl games. Rich Rod changed that. Your program is now in the hunt for the national title because of him. Let it go, let him go, and thank him.

Did you learn anything from watching the East-West Shrine Game or reading the box score? – John in Virginia

A: No. The actual game itself doesn’t really matter. It’s all about the practices for the coaches and scouts. The game can only help a player, and if someone stinks, it’s mostly thrown out as a fluke. It’s about how a player looks on a day-to-day basis and how his habits and attitude are.