This is is tough decision for many to endure but I think this is the right move by President-Elect Nikias.
There will be those like me that will applaud and support this there will be others that will vehemently disagree.
There are some asking how do you reconcile the removing Bush's trophy and not O.J. Simpson's? Others want to bring up Charles Woodson who also admitted to taking improper benefits while at the University of Michigan yet has retained his Heisman to this day.
It isn't that simple...and there is no comparison.
Lets get Woodson out of the way first. The Heisman Trust has never even considered removing Woodson's Heisman even though Woodson's own words show he was guilty. I have been guilty of pointing fingers at Woodson as well but it really shouldn't matter what goes on with Michigan...we will of course take note, but Woodson's situation is insignificant. Last time I checked we are Trojan fans not Michigan fans. That stain is their cross to bear not ours.
Simpson's trophy is a little more tricky for some. But it really shouldn't be...
Simpson's despicable actions in his taking of two human lives came some 30 years after he left USC. Some 30 years after he played at the Coliseum. Those horrific crimes had absolutely no bearing on his athletic accomplishments at USC.
If USC chose to remove O.J.'s Heisman I would have understood and supported it. After all, the school is the caretaker of its own reputation, they have the ultimate say. The school didn't think it mattered or was relevant and so they let the award stand.
Reggie's actions on the other hand directly affected the school and happened while he was enrolled.
The only standards of personal conduct off the field that matter when voting on the Heisman award have to do with eligibility...clearly Reggie's actions off the field with he and his family taking money voided his eligibility and so he should probably lose the award but that is ultimately that is up to the Heisman Trust.
USC looks at at it differently..and with much more of a purpose.
President-Elect Nikias is pro-athletics in a major way. He understands USC's academic reputation as well as USC's athletic reputation. He knows that athletics is a way to work the big donors. It is also a sense of school pride.
So Nikias takes Bush's actions as a personal affront.
There are many of us who stood by Reggie throughout this ordeal. We wanted to believe that Reggie and his family were the victims of extortion or that Reggie was a victim of his parents greed, torn between ratting them out or protecting his eligibility.
Neither were true...
Reggie was as involved as his parents the minute he took the money for that car.
And when all the details came out...even though we know Lloyd Lake lied about a lot in his testimony to the NCAA we all know he didn't lie about everything. No one can deny the Bush clan took the money especially when you listen to the audio tapes obtained by Real Sports.
He was dirty, they were dirty.
And because of their being dirty, President-Nikias wants to remove any and all memory of Bush and Mayo. This whole situation is a stain on USC as a whole not just the athletic department. I support it...Reggie Bush should feel the same humiliation that those who openly supported him felt on June 10th.
I would not be surprised if this is also a part of the appeal that 'SC is gearing up for. You make any and all moves that you can to try and make your case. Symbolic or not there are many USC fans and alums that think this is a great thing...especially after all of us were left holding the bag for Reggie's greed.
It doesn't matter that he didn't settle earlier before the NCAA got their hooks into Lake...the intent was already there. He could not have cared less about USC, its fans and its alums. In return those who supported Bush should not care how this looks for him...and it is humiliating.
It is one thing for the for the school to be ordered to disassociate from Reggie Bush. It is a quite another for the school to take steps, no matter how symbolic, to publicly remove any and all presence of Reggie in light of the sanctions.
President-Elect Nikias means business. He wants to restore USC's greatness without any memories of the past.
That is a very tall order but it is clear that he is determined to do just that.
This is a very good start.