Frantz: Plenty of parties to blame for athlete-agent situation

Reggie Bush can go to hell. And not for being the overrated, under-achieving, position-less fraud of a running back that he has been since being drafted No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints in 2006, either.

Bush can go to hell for his central role in the Southern Cal scandal that has cost the Trojans four years of probation, two years of bowl ineligibility, numerous scholarships and the jobs of many USC administrators, while receiving no tangible punishment of his own.

Sure, Bush’s almost-instantaneous professional downgrade from feature back (“The next Barry Sanders!” he was touted) to glorified kick returner and swing-pass catcher (“Hey, it’s Eric Metcalf!”) is punishment in and of itself on the NFL level. But the fact that Bush gets to walk away from the scandal that he helped create, collecting on his multimillion dollar NFL contract after already enjoying, with his family, the illegal fruits of his collegiate labor while other student-athletes played by the rules is truly despicable.

Where is Bush’s punishment? The school is erasing all mentions of Bush’s participation in its program, including the voluntary return of its copy of his Heisman Trophy, and will likely have their mythical 2005 BCS title wiped out as well. So when does Bush begin serving his time?

Pete Carroll can go to hell. And not for being the smug, arrogant conductor of the illegal orchestra at USC, and the two-time failure of a head coach at the professional level with one playoff victory in four years, either. Carroll can go to hell for seemingly never being aware of any of the illegal activities at USC while he watched blue-chip prospect after blue-chip prospect willingly sign on the gold-plated dotted line, and for walking away before the NCAA hammer came down on the university.

Where is Carroll’s punishment? How many of the millions that the university paid him is he going to be fined or forced to return for his role in this mess?

Nick Saban can go to hell. And not for being the lying, back-stabbing mercenary who left LSU for the massive NFL payday he got from the Miami Dolphins, only to lie further about his intention to become the Alabama coach after failing miserably with the Dolphins. Saban can go to hell for his hypocritical declaration of unscrupulous sports agents as “pimps” for daring to try and profit off of the very athletes he profits off of before tossing them aside for his next career move.

Filthy sports agents can go to hell. And not for tempting young, impressionable, often impoverished superstar athletes with cash, cars and other illegal benefits for themselves and their families, in order to get their hooks in the kids so they can assure themselves a piece of the kids’ first multimillion dollar pro contracts. 

Actually, they can go to hell for exactly that.

And finally, sports columnists who continue to compare student-athletes who are receiving tens of thousands of dollars per year in free education, books, housing and food to “slaves” can go to hell, too.

Words fail.

Are the universities making millions off the efforts of these athletes? Yes. Are the young athletes forced to endure the “bondage” of a full-ride to an institution of higher learning at the tip of a whip?

Let’s just say: Go to hell.

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@sfexaminer.com.

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