USC Stripped of 2004 Title, After Investigation Findings Against Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush Under Fire, Should Star College Athletes Be Paid?

Imagine going to attend a big university where you’ll serve as the star player. You become your school’s hero as long as you’re winning the game. Your background includes growing up with a lower socio-economical status, and now you’re being enticed with “gifts” from people who want to use you. Free rent, cars, airfare, and all expenses paid just to represent a product. Deep down you know it’s against the rules, but the agents are introducing you to a life you never imagined.

New Orleans Saints star, Reggie Bush is under fire for doing something that I’m sure a vast majority of top college athletes do; take the money and run with it.

At the height of the investigation back in 2006, the NCAA purported in documents that the “gifts” Reggie’s family received came from marketing agents who were launching New Era Sports & Entertainment and wanted Reggie as their first client. The gifts included:

  • $595.20 in round-trip airfare from San Diego to Oakland in November 2005 for Bush’s stepfather, LaMar Griffin, his mother, Denise Griffin and younger brother to attend the USC-California game at Berkeley.
  • $250.65 for limousine transportation from the Oakland airport to the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco that November weekend for the Bush family where the family stayed as guests.
  • Suits for Bush’s stepfather and brother to wear during the Dec. 10, 2005 Heisman ceremony in New York, a makeover for his mother for the event and limousine transportation;
  • Weekly payments of at least $1,500 to the Bush family.
  • $623.63 for a hotel stay by Bush at the Venetian Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from March 11-13, 2005, charged to Michaels, according to a document signed by Bush.
  • $1,574.86 for a stay by Bush at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego from March 4-6, 2005, paid for by Michaels, according to a hotel document, a hotel employee and a source.
  • Approximately $13,000 to Bush from New Era to purchase and modify a car, three sources said.
  • As reported by Yahoo! Sports in April, $54,000 in rent-free living for a year at Michaels’ $757,500 home in Spring Valley, Calif., according to Michaels and San Diego attorney Brian Watkins.
  • Also from previous Yahoo! reports, $28,000 from Michaels to help Bush’s family settle pre-existing debt, according to Michaels and Watkins.
  • Thousands of dollars in spending money to both Bush and his family from the prospective agents, according to multiple sources.

Colleges and universities make millions off of their unpaid star athletes.

Should they reap the benefits of a student’s blood, sweat and tears without compensating them for their efforts?

Since the college does provide a national platform for the students to showcase their talents, is this an even exchange?


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