Should OJ be commemorated on USC’s campus?
“OJ: Made in America” just won 9 Emmy Awards. The five-part documentary showcased footage from OJ’s stardom at USC, his long trial, and his life after his newfound innocence. In short, it followed his journey before and after he was accused of the murder of Nicole Brown-Simpson: OJ’s ex-wife.
Throughout the trial, evidence and testimonies clearly pointed to OJ as the murderer. Regardless, there were many flaws in the prosecutors’ case. In addition, the trial happened just following the inhumane death of Rodney King and per members of the primarily black jury, they wanted a much-needed victory for African-Americans. The trial caused numerous controversies within the courtroom and across the country. It was also the first time a trial was aired live on TV, which caused Americans everywhere to follow OJ’s journey.
The well-known athlete started his fame at USC, where he was an extraordinary wide-receiver and even earned a Heisman trophy, the highest recognition in college football. Today, while OJ is in jail for a robbery in Las Vegas, his Heisman trophy sits in USC’s Heritage Hall and his jersey number is hanging in the Coliseum.
In the past, Heisman winner Reggie Bush had his Heisman rescinded and taken out of Heritage Hall because his family accepted a house from a sports agent — which is illegal in the NCAA rules. Nonetheless, OJ’s “supposed” crime for murdering his ex-wife did not rescind his Heisman, or get it taken out of Heritage Hall.
The documentary series, “OJ: Made in America,” has brought the discussion regarding OJ’s legacy on campus back in the spotlight. Should his Heisman be taken out of Heritage Hall? Should the number “32” no longer be honored in the Coliseum? I say yes. I do not think USC should honor someone who supposedly committed a most heinous crime of murder. Nonetheless, I do understand why they still share his memorabilia.
Technically, OJ was never found guilty of the crime, even though all evidence seems to point to him. Therefore, USC does not have proper reasoning to withhold the Heisman from being seen. In addition, OJ was an amazing football player. His talents and records at USC were not hindered by a crime of murder; they still exist, and that cannot be erased from shunning his existence from campus.
“The Juice” was quite the player, but he milked it post-graduation. Fight on, OJ.