Saturday, May 18, 2024

Reggie Bush to get 2005 Heisman Trophy back as former USC Trojans star wins long battle

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The Heisman Trust is expected to announce Wednesday that it is returning the 2005 Heisman Trophy to Reggie Bush, according to ESPN. The former star USC running back had no longer been 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.

The Heisman Trust had previously 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.” Wednesday’s announcement is a reversal of course by the Heisman Trust, which cited “fundamental changes in college athletics” in which rules that have allowed “student athlete compensation” to become “an accepted practice and appears here to stay,” according to ESPN.

“Personally, I’m thrilled to reunite with my fellow Heisman winners and be a part of the storied legacy of the Heisman Trophy, and I’m honored to return to the Heisman family,” Bush said in a statement to ESPN. “I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization.”

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.

With the bronzed stiff-armer back in Bush’s hands, USC officially retakes first place in college football’s Heisman Trophy hierarchy, with eight total. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma each have seven.

USC Heisman Trophy Winners – All-Time
1965 Mike Garrett
1968 O. J. Simpson
1979 Charles White
1981 Marcus Allen
2002 Carson Palmer
2004 Matt Leinart
2005 Reggie Bush
2022 Caleb Williams

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