If college athletes are going to start getting paid, former University of Southern California star Reggie Bush said that their checks should come with some “guidance.”
In a Q&A interview with Playboy, Bush said that if he had the “proper financial knowledge” early in his career, some things could have been different for him. When Bush was asked if he would get involved in coaching, he responded with a warning for the college athletes who could soon be paid for their name, image and likeness.
“Guidance is the one thing that young athletes coming through the college system miss on so much,” Bush told the magazine. “I missed on it. They’re about to start paying college athletes. This is something that has never been experienced before, and it’s going to destroy some people if their foundation is not in the right place.”
In April, the NCAA announced that it supported a proposal to allow athletes to sign endorsement and advertisement deals, as long as their schools are not involved in the payment and their logos are not used. The possible rule change is expected to be detailed over the next few months, and there will be a formal vote set for next January.
Bush, who had a solid 11-year career in the NFL, willingly forfeited his 2005 Heisman Trophy after he and his family supposedly received improper benefits from agents while he was at USC.
But now looking back on his football journey, the current Fox Sports college football analyst knows how much of an “open target” someone in his shoes could be for people to exploit.
“The one thing I wish I had early in my career is proper financial knowledge,” Bush said. “I hired good agents, and I hired a good team. But I allowed that good team to make decisions for me. I’m not saying I’m going bankrupt, but if I had the proper knowledge back then, some things would be different.
“People just assume, ‘Well, you got all this money, so you’re good.’ It’s actually the opposite. The more money you have, the more danger you’re in,” Bush added. “Because now you’re a freaking open target for a lot of people. It’s a nasty world out there, and it’s about to get nastier. You’re going to really start to see the true colors of a lot of people, and a lot of businesses too. You’re going to see people doing some crazy stuff to make money, because our market is crashing.”