The story went into some detail about Reggie allegedly (there's that word again) accepting gifts from agents. The NCAA, in its infinite wisdom, forbids athletes from accepting gifts of cash or material from anyone, lest their golden image be tarnished. The story went like this:
"I'm not worried about any of these allegations or anything like that, because I know what the truth is, like I said from day one," Bush said after a Saints practice. "Once the smoke clears, everybody's going to see we did nothing wrong."
Yahoo.com reported Thursday that Michael Michaels, a marketing agency investor who wanted to represent the Heisman Trophy winner, and current Bush marketing agent Mike Ornstein supplied Bush and his family with gifts while he was still at USC.
You're right, Reggie. You did nothing wrong, but not for the reasons you may think. The hypocrisy is that USC granted you a full scholarship, which, according to their web site, breaks down costs as follows:
Based on the 2006-2007 academic year, the following are estimated two-semester costs at USC for a full-time undergraduate living in university housing:
- $33,892 Tuition and fees (12-18 units for two semesters)
- $10,144 Room and board
- $750 Books and supplies
- $1,600 Personal and Miscellaneous
- $580 Transportation
- $46,966 Total (add $140 for your very first semester at USC orientation fee)
...unpaid advertising for the schools for which they play a sport. You accepted a gift, but the gift was the education you received from USC. While it's true that you may never need it, the fact is that it was given to you. If the school fails to realize that you were given a gift, then the education they provide isn't worth what they're charging. After all, regular students who do nothing but go to class and graduate would not like to hear that the NCAA doesn't value their education as much as they do a gift from a marketing agent.
That $100,000 is a small fraction of what you will earn marketing such things as shoes, eyewear and Trojan condoms.
It's about time the NCAA stopped the nonsense surrounding pay for student athletes. Mostly, it makes kids look like criminals for doing something as petty as accepting a suit of clothes from an alumni booster. The NCAA and the schools get much more than that from the athletes and never have to answer for it.
Failure to recognize the cost of attending school cheapens the educational experience, and isn't that what college is supposed to provide?