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Question of the day: Should the Downtown Athletic Club rescind the Reggie Bush Heisman Trophy? [Updated]

July 21, 2010 | 10:20 am

Bush_400 Reporters from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

(Poll: Should Reggie Bush be allowed to keep his Heisman Trophy?)

[Updated at 1:05 p.m.:

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times

Under the terms of the NCAA sanctions, USC is required to disassociate Reggie Bush from the program, so that means his image, jersey and trophy must be removed.

The return of the statuette to the Heisman Trophy Trust is largely symbolic. Remember, the same NCAA that slammed USC with penalties is preparing to hear the school’s appeal. Shipping the trophy to New York allows USC to say, quite contritely, ‘Look NCAA, we’re being compliant.’ ” And they don’t have to worry about using storage space in Heritage Hall.
It’s been five long years since Bush won the vote and accepted the trophy. Retroactively rescinding it and leaving 2005 without a recognized winner would be symbolic, but I’m not certain that’s the right move.
No one is a big fan of the asterisk, but in this case it fits. Of course, getting Bush to hand over his trophy for engraving would probably be a challenge.

Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel
For some reason, Elvis’ “Return to Sender” comes to mind when I think of Reggie Bush and his Heisman Trophy.

Reggie should return to sender! He should be forced to give his Heisman Trophy back.

Bush broke one of the cardinal rules in college athletics when the NCAA determined he took illegal benefits during his time at USC. The Heisman Trophy is not simply about your stats and on-field achievements, it's about INTEGRITY, which is a blanket term for honesty and fair play.

He had his moment, got the national attention and the perks of being a Heisman winner. No one can take away the elation he was feeling when he went on stage and accepted the trophy but, sadly, he didn’t deserve it. He should do the right thing and return what doesn’t belong to him.

[Updated at 11:45 a.m.:

Brian Hamilton, Chicago Tribune

The Heisman trophy explicitly honors a player who pursues "excellence with integrity." The Heisman Trophy Trust explicitly "ensures the … integrity of this award."

So after 75 years, the Downtown Athletic Club morality police should put out the APB on Reggie Bush's mantel decor? Please.

The idea that every Heisman winner but Bush has demonstrated unimpeachable integrity is hopelessly naïve. College athletics was dirty before Reggie Bush and will be after Reggie Bush. Asking him to ship a statue back is a grandiose, reactionary, pointless exercise. It won't change anything, least of all how we view the Heisman trophy.

It goes to college football's best player, always has, and usually without much concern about how he got there.]

[Updated at 2:30 p.m.

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant

Sorry, but it's too late to rewrite history. Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player and there's no going back to scrub his image from the prestigious award.

USC returned the trophy for largely symbolic reasons, which is nice and tidy for a program in crisis mode. To outsiders, it's a powerful message for the school to remove all trappings of Bush's success.

But let's not pretend Bush is the only Heisman winner with a checkered resume. He won the trophy for his production on the field, and that will never change.

Let him keep the award, but let's also remember the story of the Trojans every time we see highlights of his Heisman season.

Photo: Reggie Bush poses after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005. Credit: Stephen Chernin / Getty Images