‘I’m thrilled’: Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy reinstated

Reggie Bush speaking at the Heisman Ceremony in 2005.

The Heisman Trust is reinstating Reggie Bush as the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner.

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ESPN was first to report the story. Bush forfeited his award in 2010 after the NCAA issued sanctions against the University of Southern California, finding that Bush and his family received improper benefits from 2003 to 2005, CBS Sports reported.

Bush was originally awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2005 after getting 784 votes for first place, the fifth most in the trophy’s history, ESPN reported.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” organization president Michael Comerford said in a statement. “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 trust had said it would reinstate Bush’s trophy if the NCAA also reinstated his records from 2005. Bush sued the NCAA for defamation last year after a league spokesperson said in 2021 that Bush was part of “pay-for-play arrangements,” CBS Sports reported.

Rules that college players can get paid for the use of their name, image or likeness were adopted in 2021, and shortly after Bush began pushing for his reinstatement. He also got support from other winners, including Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman for his career at Texas A&M and who said he would skip the Heisman ceremonies until Bush was given his honor back.

Bush will get his trophy back and USC will get a replica. He will also be invited to future Heisman Trophy ceremonies starting in the 2024 season.

“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 told ESPN. “I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization.”

With the return of Bush’s trophy, USC is now the school with the most, with eight. Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame each have seven.

After playing for USC, Bush played in the NFL for 11 years, including stints with the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. He last played professionally in 2016, according to Pro Football Reference. He was most recently a college football analyst for Fox Sports.