Did I waste my time during the entire 2004 season? Did the 2004 college football season disappear? Was I dreaming in early January when I watched the Orange Bowl? I swear I saw a juggernaut that goes by the nickname Trojans destroy some team with an “O” on their helmets.
Now it’s clear. I did see all of that season. I did watch the Orange Bowl. I did see Southern Cal destroy Oklahoma. However, the BCS holds a time machine in their offices that wiped away the paper records of that transaction. How should such power be held by one organization? What did Southern Cal do to be wiped off the mat? They played football, didn’t they?
In 2004 through 2005, Reggie Bush received improper benefits from various sources in the Southern California area. He could be seen in expensive cars. His parents lived in an upscale home. He took advantage of his own celebrity. He rubbed elbows with his celebrity quarterback Matt Leinart. Wait! He took advantage of his own celebrity?
It begs to ask the question, how many #5 jerseys were sold across America during this time period? How many times did Snoop Dogg and Will Farrell visit the sidelines of the Coliseum?
The USC Trojans along with the rest of College Football saw Reggie Bush electrify the stadium. Millions across America watched in awe of the swivel hips and raw speed of the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner score with effortless motion. Los Angeles did not need a professional football team. They had something better. They had the Trojans. The Trojans had a Hollywood quarterback. The Trojans had a Hollywood coach. The Trojans were the toast of the town. More importantly for this discussion, the Trojans raked in millions of dollars in revenue, fueled on the backs of the Men of Troy.
What’s wrong with mindset of the dictators of college football? It’s morally wrong to exploit the multitude of talent on the playing field, only to be thanked by offering them a mere portion of what they deserve. There was a time and place for such treatment, and that time was before I was born. The time was pre ESPN. The time was before the Heisman Trophy ceremony was an hour long television special. The time was before coaches started making millions of dollars per season.
There is no way the NCAA saw this revenue explosion coming 40 or 50 years ago. If Nostradamus was on the NCAA board of trustees, he would have predicted an era where College Football becomes a money making juggernaut. He would have advised his colleagues to create the correct guidelines to see to it that these athletes could receive a mere percentage of the revenue they create. He would have suggested that it is ok to allow these young men to enjoy some of the spoils of their celebrity. He would have seen that the masses would love to show their appreciation to these young men by treating them to a meal. Too bad Nostradamus was gone before the NCAA took power.
Cry not fans of the Men of Troy. Like you, I had the pleasure of watching many of those games during the 2004 season. I watched Reggie Bush dazzle up and down the field leaving clumsy defenders in his wake. I watched the onslaught in the Orange Bowl where Pete Carroll hoisted the trophy proudly above his head. I saw it myself. So as far as I’m concerned, the BCS can strip the National Championship from Southern Cal. However, the BCS cannot strip the pleasure I received in watching, nor can they strip what everyone else saw.
Plain in simple, College Football needs to have a meeting of the minds similar to that of the men who gathered in 1776 and declared independence from tyranny. College Football needs a Declaration of Independence and its needed now.