Yesterday, the NCAA released a new rule that allows collegiate athletes from all three divisions to profit off of their name, image and likeness (NIL). And with this groundbreaking change, we aren’t only looking at what’s to come in the future of college sports, but back into its past as well. Reggie Bush, who had his Heisman Trophy and collegiate records stripped away after his family received impermissible benefits during his time at USC in the early 2000s, has now become a focal point of past NCAA sanction discussions.
“I never cheated this game,” Bush wrote in a tweet. “That was what they wanted you to believe about me.”
The former Trojan superstar also revealed that he and his team have contacted the NCAA and the Heisman Trust on multiple occasions about reinstating his trophy and records. Bush said the Heisman Trust indicated no intention of returning the trophy and the NCAA has yet to respond.
“It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated,” the 2005 Heisman winner wrote in a statement.
Plenty of people agree with Reggie Bush’s assertions, including ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum.
“It did not affect what he did on the field,” Finebaum said on Get Up. “He was not given an unfair advantage on the field … Give it to him back! It’s really not hard.
“It’s a matter of getting a group of people together in a boardroom and having a vote — and doing the right thing.”
.@finebaum thinks Reggie Bush should get his Heisman back.
“It did not affect what he did on the field! … Give it to him back! It’s really not hard.” pic.twitter.com/wsbsneHUvK
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 2, 2021
Through his Heisman Trophy winning season in 2005, Bush logged 2,218 total yards and 18 touchdowns.