A cursory google search reveals that the recently-released Reggie Bush tome, Tarnished Heisman, which claims that Bush and his family received nearly $300,000 during his time at USC, garnered a mention in probably more than 200 newspapers across the country this week. Yahoo is blowing it out on the front page (with an excerpt), as is Sportsline, and Sports Illustrated. If the NCAA finds any wrongdoing, the book could end up costing USC its 2004 National title, and Reggie Bush could lose his Heisman Trophy.
So we found it strange that the book was completely ignored by ESPN until 4:27 am today … when it buried the story on the rail of the college football page, a convenient spot now that the season is over and nobody’s going there. How is this not front page news? We can all agree on one thing – if ESPN wants to make something a story, it can. And when it wants a story to disappear, it has that power, too. [UPDATE: A reader writes in: “David Cornwell is Bush’s attorney. And unbelievably, Cornwell is a legal consultant for ESPN!] Anyone find it odd that when we ran a search for “Tarnished Heisman” on the ESPN home page, it revealed a mere three hits? According to that search, none of ESPN’s columnists have touched the story.
When we posted about the book Wednesday, we admitted to not caring about athletes getting money (players from sports that generate revenue deserve it), but getting your Heisman Trophy yanked (and maybe a National title, too) is definitely news. Does anyone else think something could be afoot? We just looked at the segments PTI and ATH ran Thursday, and it appears as if the book was not discussed (thought it may have been earlier in the week). How much power does Reggie Bush’s agent have? Or does USC have enough clout to steer ESPN away from the story?