Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll took tremendous blows to their reputations because of the penalties handed down to USC, due to Bush’s acceptance of illegal benefits. Bush and Carroll have it easy, and the ones getting punished are the current Trojan players.
Yes, Bush decided to be a good citizen and give back his Heisman Trophy. However, he will still be able to go home to his million-dollar house and look at his Super Bowl ring, knowing life is still pretty good.
Carroll will probably be looked at by some as a man who could not control his program. But he will always have the memories of those national championships in his heart.
Carroll’s legacy will be somewhat tarnished and will never be looked at with the same glow it once had in the media. He will still be able to go home to his beautiful Seattle home at night and wake up knowing he is coaching an NFL team.
However, there are some blemishes Carroll and Bush can’t get away from. For example, both will never be able to walk the historic field of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum again without being looked at weirdly or, in Bush’s case, being escorted off the field.
Both individuals will probably never be able to drive by the Coliseum without thinking about who they might have hurt.
That being said, Bush and Carroll’s punishments add up to one slap on the wrist compared to the Trojans. The team will have to face major penalties for the next couple of years.
Some of the sanctions handed down to USC include a four-year probation, a postseason ban for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and the vacating of all their football wins, including bowl games, from the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
This list does not even include all the players who decided to leave USC in order to avoid all the bad attention surrounding the team. The Trojans must also adjust to a new athletic director, Pat Haden.
So, why does it seem like Bush and Carroll are getting off easy? Why does it seem like every time something bad is about to go down in college football, the coach or player of the team will take off to the next best opportunity? How come Bush was never checked when all the winning was going on? Why are the new Trojans facing all the sanctions?
There is only one reason why: it is called life. Sometimes when punishments are handed down in any sport, a lot of the time the people who are affected are those who had nothing to do with the crime at all.
Baseball is a prime example of how a couple of people can mess up the whole sport. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds will always leave a stain on baseball because of their steroid use.
Sadly, punishments sometimes tend to do more damage to the people who have nothing to do with the offense.