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Is Not Guilty Synonymous with Innocent?

October 1, 2010

The epicenter of good Public Relations is being open and candid with the media and one’s publics. However, Reggie Bush’s implied message which accompanied his returning of the Heisman Trophy, and his public announcement  that his action’s were in no way an admission of guilt; were very ambiguous. Whether this ambiguity was the result of bad public relations or a lack there of remains to be seen, but what is obvious is that with proper counsel Bush’s legendary collegiate career could have been salvaged.

Bush’s decision to give back the Heisman Trophy, while proactive and ridding the need for further action by the Heisman Trophy Trust, damaged his credibility. Bush told reporters “I felt just to kind of silence all the talk around it, all the negativity around it — I felt like this would be the best decision to do right now so I could focus” (for the full report from the associated press on Bush’s message following his return of the Heisman click here).  Bush should have however anticipated was the negative back lash of his actions. Now everyone in the sports world feels that Bush certainly did accept gifts from agents whilst at the University of Southern California. Furthermore his failure to admit his innocence could very well be taken as a plead of quilt.

In this situation good a Public Relations advisor would have been straight forward with the public. Bush has nothing to lose by admitting that he received money and other gifts while attending USC, after all he already returned the trophy. He did not cheat the game of football, he cheated the system; he still was the best candidate by far for the 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Although it is cliche’ in this case for Bush ‘the truth would have set him free.’

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