Did these athletes sell their souls for a paycheck?,When ex-NFL football player Reggie Bush was originally drafted into the league, he came with a lot of hype. Yet while some criticized him for not living up to expectations at first, no one was expecting what happened just months after he joined the New Orleans Saints.
In September 2006, Bush was exposed for receiving illegal gifts from sports marketers as a college player (such as hotel stays and a home for his family rent-free). While the question of whether or not college athletes should be compensated remains a hot button issue, gifts or payments of any kind are still against the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s rules. University of Southern California football coach Pete Carroll claimed the school “didn’t know” about the residential situations violating the rules (via Time), but the acceptance of these gifts put a massive stain on Bush’s pro career.
While Bush voluntarily forfeited his 2005 Heisman trophy afterward, he later publicly stated that he felt college players should be paid legitimately by the NCAA. “The universities are making so much money off the athletes,” Bush told Business Insider in 2018. “They’re selling your likeness. Selling your jerseys, bobbleheads, whatever else, blankets, whatever else they can sell, while you are there for those three or four years.” He added, “The kids deserve more and they should be given more. They should at least be compensated. I don’t know what the number is but it should be something.”