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Chris Rix says he was never offered any $100 handshakes after the game, a new ride to impress the ladies or a furnished apartment while the starting quarterback at Florida State University.
"I never was offered the duffle bag of money you always hear about," Rix said. "I may have gotten a free sub or hot dog on campus once or twice."
Rix says he would joke with his buddies that maybe he wasn't good enough to earn the unspoken perks of college athletics.
"It happens in a lot of places, but it doesn't happen to everyone."
The life and career of Reggie Bush - the football player - will not change now that he has stepped forward and returned his 2005 Heisman Trophy. But the Heisman Trust's decision to leave that season vacant may sway future collegiate football players from building relationship with agents and chatting up boosters boasting fat pockets.
Is that naive to think? Probably.
Rix says college athletes can carry with them a "holier than thou" attitude and that can translate to off the field interactions that can lead to sanctions down the road.
QB Quotation"Why didn't he (Bush) do this four years ago?"
"You feel a sense of entitlement," Rix said. "You feel you are untouchable."
In other words, not everybody is Tim Tebow.
Rix, a college football analyst for Fox Sports in Los Angeles, realizes the power Bush had when at USC earlier this decade.
"Matt (Leinart) and him were running the town out here without a professional football team around," Rix said.
But what he can't wrap his brain around is why wait until now to come forward and hand back the Heisman.
"I'm disappointed," Rix said. "Why didn't he do this four years ago? He could have saved USC a lot of heartache and his name wouldn't have been drug through the mud. I don't feel a lot of sympathy for him."
Rix's heart does go out to the current Trojans and those 13 and 14 year-olds who were shedding their blood, sweat and tears as they developed themselves into Division I talent six years ago.
"I feel bad for the guys that are there now and those kids that were in middle school when this all happened."
Pete Carroll was in charge of the program at the time and though coaches can't be around their players 24/7, Rix finds it hard to believe that coach had no inkling as to the extracurricular interactions Bush was having with sports agents.
"I would have to be pretty naive to think Pete Carroll didn't know anything," Rix said.
Rix and I wrapped up our conversation talking about this story's conclusion. He doesn't believe the ending has been written yet. There is talk of Bush working with the Heisman Trust to help collegiate football players avoid the pitfalls of illegal benefits. Rix says if Bush practices what he preaches and reaches out to the Trust, colleges and universities to make their football programs more secure from the vices offered by boosters and agents, Bush may get his Heisman Trophy back down the road.
Is that naive to think? Probably not.
Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.