Report: Heisman Trust Will Return Reggie Bush’s 2005 Trophy

Report: Heisman Trust Will Return Reggie Bush’s 2005 Trophy article feature image

Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Imagess. Pictured: Former USC football standout Reggie Bush during a press conference at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with attorneys Levi G. McCathern and Ben Crump to talk about Bush’s defamation lawsuit against the NCAA.

The Heisman Trust will return Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy, according to a new report from ESPN's Pete Thamel. Bush won the Heisman in 2005 but forfeited the trophy five years later after the NCAA sanctioned USC and said Bush received improper benefits during his tenure at the school.

"We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments," Michael Comerford, president of The Heisman Trophy Trust, to ESPN. "We considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years in deciding that now is the right time to reinstate the trophy for Reggie. We are so happy to welcome him back."

The decision to reinstate Bush drew immediate praise from 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to thank the Heisman Trust for "doing what’s right and welcoming a storied member of our history back into the fold. There were many voices throughout this process that stood on the table for Reggie simply because of the kind of human being he is. I look forward to being on that stage with you this December."

Manziel recently voiced his desire to have Bush's Heisman reinstated during the Action Network Draft series Franchise Mode. He addressed the topic and read an unreleased letter to his fellow winners that advocated on Bush's behalf.

"[Reggie Bush] was somebody I truly feel changed the landscape of college football for the better, forever."

In a letter to his fellow Heisman winners recorded earlier this month, @JManziel2 expressed why now was the time for Bush to get his trophy back.

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 24, 2024

"Reggie Bush '05 was wrongly punished in my opinion, and the opinion of so many others, for doing something that in today's day and age, is completely and utterly acceptable."

Part of the decision to reinstate Bush's status as a Heisman winner is tied to the major changes that have occurred in college football surrounding name, image, and likeness (NIL), which has allowed college athletes to endorse products and be paid for their services since 2021.

Since that change, Bush had been pushing for his Heisman to be reinstated but received pushback from the NCAA which said "NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements." That response prompted Bush to sue the NCAA for defamation in August 2023. While that case is ongoing Bush's name will be back among the greats who have won the prestigious award.

I'm honored to return to the Heisman family," Bush told ESPN in a statement. "I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization."

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