When Reggie Bush was voted as the nation’s top collegiate football player in 2005, there was little doubt as to whether or not he deserved the honor.

Sure, there were questions surrounding Pete Carroll’s University of Southern California football program, but nothing had officially been proven that suggested Bush had violated any NCAA rules. And really, why did it matter? With apologies to Vince Young, Bush was clearly the nation’s best collegiate football player for that one season as determined by the Heisman Trophy Trust.

But after an investigation that lasted nearly five years, the Trust decided it no longer wanted Bush to represent the select fraternity of college football history. Bush violated perhaps one of the most crucial qualifications required to receive the award — Integrity. So the committee did the only thing it thought should be done and revoked the honor.

Despite discussions of whether or not the trophy should be redistributed, and in this case given to Young, the 2005 award has been vacated and will forever be vacant. From now into the future, the history for college football’s highest individual honor will read: “…2003, Jason White, QB – Oklahoma; 2004, Matt Leinart, QB – USC; 2005, vacated…”

This year a new controversy has its arms wrapped firmly around the nation’s top player. From academic issues of cheating and later his arrest for the theft of a laptop computer while attending the University of Florida, to a webcam scandal that was or wasn’t a big deal, and the most recent accusations of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton’s father requesting pay in exchange for his son’s talents, Newton has seen controversy follow him every step of the way throughout his college athletic career.
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ST. LOUIS — It was bound to happen sooner or later, and Mark McGwire admitted as much in his MLB Network, one-on-one interview with Bob Costas on Monday night.

McGwire told Costas, and for that matter the entire baseball world, that his hiring as the hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals without doubt sped up his desire to come clean about using steroids.

And why not? He realized he would have otherwise been harassed endlessly throughout the baseball season by reporters and heckled by fans of opposing teams until he said the words.

But while numerous professional baseball players have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, have sat through interviews, and have done so much to say and do the right things following their carefully crafted statements, there was something different about McGwire’s admission.
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Mark McGwireST. LOUIS — So the season is over and changes were expected in the St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouse, but things look oddly familiar.

Tony La Russa is still the manager, Dave Duncan is back for another season to continue his mission of turning around the careers of pitching has-beens. And Mark McGwire is wearing a Cardinals uniform.

No, it’s not 2001. But stories from nearly a decade ago are likely to resurface throughout this offseason and into the 2010 campaign.

Hal McRae is out as St. Louis’ hitting coach, and general manager John Mozeliak and principal owner, Bill DeWitt Jr. have brought the former Cardinals slugger back to coach up the hitting abilities of the current Redbirds.
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