Texas Roses serve a sore reminder


With Texas firmly planted in Pasadena and in pursuit of another national championship, memories are stirred for the locals, along with the realization of how long it has been. The BCS bowl rotation has come full cycle, with the Rose Bowl prepared to crown another college football king. It was January of 2006 that saw the Horns’ last seconds heroics lift them above the Trojans to deny a bid for a third consecutive title. The game and its outcome are hardly forgotten, but the aftermath sometimes is.

Reggie Bush will be remembered as one of many Heisman Trophy winners to lose a bowl game. He’ll be remembered for the ill-advised lateral that squandered a scoring opportunity. And he’s remembered again for standing on the sidelines, as the coaching staff gambled on an important fourth and two. The in-game memories are long lasting, but it’s an NCAA probe that began immediately after that is often forgotten.

When O.J. Mayo departed from USC amidst allegations of receiving improper benefits, we remembered the probe. When Joe McKnight is standing front and center between a Land Rover and a businessman, our memory is jogged again. The names and instances keep the Bush investigation refreshed, but Texas playing in the Rose Bowl serves a reminder of how long it’s actually been.

It’s been four years without closure. That’s enough time for Matt Leinart, Dwayne Jarrett, and Lendale White to become NFL afterthoughts. Rewind your clocks four years, and Matt Barkley was completing his freshman season at Mater Dei High School. This is hardly the swift judgment witnessed at Florida State and Alabama, which only leads to speculation of the NCAA sweeping an issue under the rug. But a broom was never set in motion, and a trial was, instead.

What’s become most obvious is that the NCAA will allow the judicial system to do their work for them, which is the reason for prolonging a decision. Reggie Bush and his accuser are locked in a civil action, and with the court’s recent ruling that denies arbitration, sworn testimony will but used in support of action or inaction by the governing body.

As much as the hopes and dreams of the USC fan was to appear in a national title game, and seeing Texas work their way back pours salt in an open wound, the Bush probe that began four years ago (and its pending results) is more important to the future of the program than any crystal ball that will be raised next week. Today, we can use Texas as a picture of what could have been, while also offering a reminder of what can be.

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~ by Anthony on December 29, 2009.

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