Johnny Manziel throws his support behind Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy fight

This is big of Johnny Manziel: the former Heisman Trophy winner and Texas A&M quarterback announced Saturday that he will decline to participate in the award’s annual ceremony until Reggie Bush has had his own Heisman Trophy returned to him.

Bush, the former New Orleans Saints running back, won the trophy for his efforts at USC back in 2005. But it was taken away from him after an NCAA investigation found that his family had received recruiting benefits which were not allowed at the time — and which are now popular across the college sports landscape with the legality of NIL programs. Bush has since taken legal action to fight for the recognition that he earned, and to get his trophy back.

Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy himself in 2012, was one of the most exciting quarterbacks in college football in his prime; love him or hate him, fans were watching the Aggies every week. While he didn’t find great success at the pro level, Manziel has remained a fixture in the college football world and at the Heisman Trophy ceremony each year. He’s voted for the award every year and taken the stage along with other past winners.

But he says that’s not something he can continue to do in good conscience while Bush is left out in the cold. Bush’s 2005 win is the only instance the award has been vacated in its 89-year history. If more of Manziel’s peers took a stand alongside him in support of Bush, it’s tough to believe the powers that be could hold up under such high-profile pressure.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire