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Johnny Manziel to boycott Heisman Trophy ceremony until Reggie Bush’s award is restored

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USATSI

Former Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel announced Saturday that he is boycotting the Heisman Trophy ceremony until Reggie Bush’s award is restored. Manziel, who won the Heisman in 2012, implored the NCAA to “do the RIGHT thing” with respect to Bush, who won the award in 2005.

“Doesn’t sit right with my morals and values that he can’t be on that stage with us every year,” Manziel wrote on a social media post. “Reggie IS the Heisman trophy.”

The former star USC running back is no longer formally recognized as a Heisman recipient because of a high-profile NCAA investigation that determined Bush and his family members received impermissible benefits while he played for the Trojans.

However, the Heisman Trust has said it would honor Bush’s award once again if the NCAA reinstated his records from the 2005 season. Bush filed a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA last year, disputing a 2021 claim from an NCAA spokesperson that he was involved in “pay-for-play arrangements.”

The Heisman Trust’s criteria deem that recipients “must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete.” 

Bush rushed for 1,740 yards with 16 touchdowns and also caught 37 passes for 478 yards and two touchdowns in 2005 for a USC team that was unbeaten until an epic Rose Bowl loss to Texas in the BCS Championship Game. After an 11-year NFL career, he returned to a place of prominence in college football as an analyst with Fox in a role that he held up until the 2023 season.

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