Columnists at nearly every media outlet took the predictable route of saying what a bad guy Bush was while blindly ignoring the reality that college football is simply a game full of cheaters. Bush and USC just happened to get caught.
There's probably not a Heisman winner in the past 20 years who wasn't a recipient of a $100 handshake from a booster. Most took more, a lot more.
Nonetheless, the Heisman has embarked on a course of purity. Good luck with that. Bush is the first to hand over the trophy, but he won't be the last.
A sampling of views from around the country:
Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: Bush could have fought this. He could have sued over this. He could have dragged the trophy through the same sort of mud in which the current USC team slogs, but he didn't.
Thayer Evans, Fox Sports: If the Heisman Trust really wanted to ensure "the continuation and integrity" of the Heisman as its mission statement says, Bush’s award would have been taken away before he could return it.
Ray Ratto, CBS Sports.com: Now everyone can go back to pretending that college football is right again.
Dick Weiss, New York Daily News: Bush did the right thing by forfeiting his Heisman, but Vince Young doesn't deserve it.
Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Stateman: Young says Bush is still the Heisman winner.
Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times: Lane Kiffin and his players, banned from bowl games for two seasons and functioning under other sanctions because of NCAA violations related to Bush, were largely unemotional in the aftermath of the former player's announcement.
USA Today: Four of the newspaper's six reporters who are Heisman voters say the 2005 award should be left vacant. Two say Young should get the award.
T.J. Simers, Los Angeles Times: If you had the choice of running a completely clean program and finishing where you may, or ruling the college football world as USC did and running amuck with the NCAA, wouldn't take what just happened to USC?
Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News: It's difficult to generate any sympathy for Bush. Ever since the allegations broke, he has stonewalled and offered little relief to USC or the NCAA regarding his situation.
Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times: Bush long ago relinquished his credibility when the facts proved him to be guilty and the perpetrator of a years-long cover-up.
Stewart Mandel, SI.com: Bush has forever cemented his legacy by forfeiting the Heisman.
Mark Saxon, ESPN L.A.: Bush's action doesn't help the people who deserve it the most — the 105 players on the current team.
Heisman Pundit: Here is what Bush should have said.
Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald: By giving back the Heisman, Bush maintained some integrity in the process. There's something good in that.