Reggie Bush to have 2005 Heisman Trophy returned

Reggie Bush, star running back for the University of Southern California Trojans in the mid 2000s, will have his 2005 Heisman Trophy returned, according to multiple sources.

The decision comes after Bush forfeited his Heisman Trophy in 2010 in the wake of significant sanctions against USC, ESPN first reported, which included Bush receiving “improper benefits” during his Trojans career.

According to ESPN College Football Senior Writer Pete Thamel, The Heisman Trust will formally announce the “reinstatement” of the trophy to the star Trojan amid “enormous changes in the college football landscape” on Wednesday.

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“As part of the decision…the Heisman Trust is returning the Heisman Trophy to Bush and a replica to USC,” Thamel reported. “Bush will again be invited to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies beginning in the 2024 season.”

In a statement to ESPN, the record-setting Trojan running back said that he is “thrilled” to be reunited with his fellow Heisman winners and that he looks forward to working with the Heisman Trust to “advance the values and mission of the organization.”

Bush, a San Diego County native and graduate of Helix High School in La Mesa, began campaigning for his Heisman to be returned in 2021 when the NCAA began allowing college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness.

Public support for Bush began pouring in from college football athletes and fans, including fellow Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who said he would skip the Heisman Trophy ceremony entirely until Bush’s trophy was returned.  Manziel took to X, formerly Twitter, to thank the Heisman Trust for “doing what’s right and welcoming a storied member of our history back into the fold” after the reinstatement was announced Wednesday morning.

In a statement, The Heisman Trophy Trust said their decision to reinstate Bush’s Heisman was a “deliberative process” that followed the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision to allow college athletes to be paid for their name, image and likeness and a recent proposal by the NCAA to remove the cap on education-related payments.

“Recognizing that the compensation of student athletes is an accepted practice and appears here to stay, these fundamental changes in college athletics led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the trophy to Bush, who unquestionably was the most outstanding college football player of 2005,” the Trust’s statement read in part.

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USC will now officially have eight Heisman Trophies – the most of any school in the country and ahead of Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame’s seven winners.

In his 2005 Heisman-winning season, Bush rushed for 1,740 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 8.7 yards per carry. He received unanimous first-team All-American honors and was also named the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year in that season.

Bush spent 10 years in the NFL after being drafted second overall by the New Orleans Saints in 2006. He also played for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills before retiring in 2017.

In his retirement, he served as an on-air college football analyst for Fox Sports from 2019 to 2023.

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