Should a player’s past award be snatched away years later?

By: Taren Vaughan

As a stand out college athlete, the numerous awards and trophies that you receive can be of large abundance. Retired jerseys hanging from the school gym rafters and buildings named after you are ways that players are recognized not only by the athletic department but by the school as a whole. Besides your material rewards, your name will forever reign at the institution at which you played your heart and soul out for. Be that as it may, years later you can have your trophies taken away and pictures snatched down off walls if the NCAA sees fit.

They are now in the process of taking back New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy that he received back in 2005. Okay, so this was five years ago. Why do they feel the need to take back this man’s trophy after all this time? True they did just make this discovery about Bush supposedly getting paid while playing for USC.

But honestly, will taking back his Heisman Trophy make us forget that he earned it? Unless you possess an instant memory eraser like the ones from “Men In Black”, who is really going to forget that Reggie Bush won that trophy? Taking away his Heisman will not erase the memory that fans have of Bush as a star USC running back.

O.J. Simpson had a similar issue years back after being accused of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman. He too was in jeopardy of losing his Heisman Trophy. How do I say this without sounding completely insensitive? Here’s the thing, what went on with that situation was apart of Simpson’s personal life, not his collegiate career as a running back for Southern California. So why strip him of his Heisman? Was that supposed to be compensation for his supposed murder record? : A record that is non-existent by the way because he was found not guilty in a court of law.

Former Olympic track star Marion Jones did not have a trophy taken away from her. But UNC was trying their hardest to remove photos of Jones from school walls when she was a member of the 1994 National Championship team for women’s basketball. The trouble that Jones got in was not while she was suited up as a Lady Heel. But it happened during her professional career, when she was years out of Carolina. So remind me again why her pictures needed to be taken down?

You can take back all of a player’s trophies, take their pictures down off the walls at their respective universities of attendance and snatch their jerseys from every gymnasium on campus. But what does that really do? The players themselves nor the people who have watched them and followed them for years will forget everything that they have accomplished regardless of if they keep a trophy or not. It’s more about the initial reasons why they got it in the first place. That’s what really matters the most. Say what you want, but all of these individuals are incredible athletes and their talents should be remembered, with or without a piece of metal to show for it.

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