Reggie Bush earned the villain’s designation


Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: Reggie Bush was a fraud? Child, please! He made a mistake, but the kid is a good dude — judgmental much?

Ontay Johnson

Los Angeles


Answer: Let me answer your question with a few of my own:

If Reggie is such a “good dude,” why is he not welcome on the USC campus?

Why did the school send his Heisman Trophy back?

Why is USC going to have to vacate its 2004 Bowl Championship Series title?

Why is USC going to lose 30 football scholarships, pending appeal, over the next three seasons?

Why can’t USC go to a bowl game this year and next?

Bush was a fraud because he presented himself as something he was not — a good guy. He and his parents, according to the NCAA report, brazenly broke clear-cut rules and he didn’t seem to care what impact this might have on his school or his teammates.

Everyone was on Reggie’s bus until he threw everyone under it.

This doesn’t sound like any of the good guys I know.

Q: Regarding Cam Newton and Reggie Bush misdoings, it started early in their lives with the acceptance of cheating when playing sports. Lying is accepted if you can get away with it in all professional sports. What does this tell us?

Troy Eckstein

Aliso Viejo

A: It tells us exactly what you stated. There is a sense of entitlement given talented athletes at an early age. This is not a new development, but it has been compounded by increased exposure in a viral, Internet world. Eighth-graders are now making college commitments. High school games are televised in HD. Scouting services are big business and glorify players who should be studying for their SATs.


It’s one reason I refuse to watch those trumped-up signing day shows where players pick their school choice from three caps sitting on a table.

When it comes to suspense involving a hat, I prefer magic shows.

Q: How much time did you actually spend getting inside Bush’s head before you condemned him? Your comments sound personal.

Ed Drayton

A: I wouldn’t want to spend a two-minute egg’s worth of time in Bush’s head. And I didn’t condemn Bush; he did it all by himself.

Q: I see you have Nebraska ranked 12th in your latest rankings. Really?

Brian Shaffer

A: Really.

Q: Since I know that you like kicking big guys in the shins, pulling little girls’ pigtails and running over sand castles, and I had a few minutes to kill, I had to one more time ask: Can this guy really believe that Boise State is No. 1?

Why do you hate the Big Ten?

Jess Womack

A: You forgot “pulling wings off of butterflies.”

It is actually Big Ten mascots I loathe. Half of them you might not stop the car for if you hit them on the highway: Gopher, Badger, Wolverine, Wildcat.

I would stop for a Nebraska Cornhusker, but they don’t join the league until next year.

Q: Does Colorado go after its second Boise coach in a row for next year and the Pac-12? A Coach Petersen hire would definitely concern other Pac-12ers.

Chris Marbellow

A: You don’t want to go back-to-back on Boise coaches when the first one backfired. Politically, you just can’t do it, even if Chris Petersen is the best coach in America — which he very well might be.

And it wasn’t just Dan Hawkins, either. The guy he replaced at Boise, Dirk Koetter, also failed when he left potatoland for Arizona State.

Also, I really don’t think Petersen is interested in leaving Boise. And, frankly, he probably has a better shot winning a national title in the Western Athletic Conference or Mountain West than the Pac-12.

The Colorado hire is intriguing, though. If I was CU, I’d make a run at former Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti, now an ESPN analyst. I would not make a run at former Colorado Coach Bill McCartney.

Q: Do you think voters will jump Boise back over Texas Christian? The margin isn’t huge.

Blake Poole

Boise, Idaho

A: It’s going to be tough, but you’re right, the margin isn’t huge. Boise State might have one advantage over TCU the rest of the way: TCU has only two games left, at home against San Diego State before closing at lowly New Mexico.

Boise State has four games left, starting Friday at Idaho. The key could be at Nevada on Nov. 26 if the Wolf Pack can keep winning and inch up in the rankings. Nevada is No. 21 in the Associated Press poll.

An impressive victory over Nevada could persuade voters to push Boise State over TCU in the polls. TCU could also slip if the Horned Frogs play an unusually close game against San Diego State or New Mexico — but don’t count on it.

Boise State, remember, lost ground in the polls last week after a 35-point home win over Hawaii, ranked No. 26 in all the major polls.

You never know what these pollsters will do, and a lot depends on what other schools win and lose that week.

Q: You like Boise only because they give you something to write about.

Michael Keith

Wells Branch, Texas

A: Yes, and Thoreau liked Walden Pond only because it gave him something to write about.

My pond happens to be a blue field that birds have reportedly mistaken for a pond.

Actually, here is the true story about why I made Boise State No. 1: The decision came in the press box at last season’s Fiesta Bowl between undefeated Boise State and Texas Christian. Both schools were going to be returning a lot of starters and, no doubt, would start the 2010 season ranked in the top 10.

I told WAC Commissioner Karl Benson that night I was going to make the winner of the game my preseason No. 1.

Had TCU won, the Horned Frogs would have been No. 1 in my preseason rankings. It’s that simple. I don’t admire TCU’s program any less. I don’t have relatives on the Boise State roster.

To me, TCU and Boise State are basically the same story of perseverance — two programs that have clawed against the system for years to finally gain acceptance and respect on a national stage.

I think it would be terrific if one — or both — could get a chance to play for this year’s national title.

Q: If TCU makes the national championship game, the BCS doesn’t have to take Boise State, right?

Calvin Zito

Boise, Idaho

A: Correct. But I don’t think there’s any way undefeated Boise State can be denied an at-large BCS bid, especially in a year where the Big East will get an automatic bid with a mediocre multiple-loss champion and the Atlantic Coast champion may end up being Virginia Tech — which lost to Boise State.

The outcry would be too great. There are still four weeks left, though, and a lot can still happen. Don’t forget 2007, when Louisiana State was No. 7 in the BCS standings on the final Saturday and jumped to No. 2 in 24 hours.

Q: Is it possible that Boise State could finish third and not go to a BCS bowl game?

Tim Roznowski

Lincolnshire, Ill.

A: It depends on your scenario. If Oregon and Auburn are No. 1 and No. 2, Boise State at No. 3 would automatically go to the Rose Bowl this year.

Q: Who is the best one-loss team in the country? I say Stanford.

Kevin Schmidt

A: I would say you’re right. It’s funny that people talk about one-loss Louisiana State sneaking into the national title game because the Tigers’ only loss was to Auburn.

What about Stanford? Its only loss was to No. 1 Oregon.

LSU would have lost to Clemson had a Clemson receiver not dropped a pass in the end zone. LSU should have also lost to Tennessee. Compare that to Stanford needing a last-second field goal to defeat USC.