It has been nearly a decade since the NCAA handed down crippling sanctions to USC for improper benefits that star running back Reggie Bush received, forcing it to vacate Bush’s Heisman Trophy in 2004 and the BCS title in 2005.
As part of the ruling, USC also had to dissociate itself from Bush. In the record books, his presence never existed at the school. But Bush is back around the college football landscape now as an analyst for Fox’s pregame show, where he will team up with former USC teammate Matt Leinart.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, Bush said he would be “lying” if he said he didn’t want to be part of USC again. But he said he there has been “no communication at all” with the university.
“I still hold a special place in my heart for USC and I always will,” Bush told the Times. “I’ll always love that school and many of the people there are still some of my good friends. Nothing can ever break that bond.”
Will NCAA eventually reverse ban?
Also of note in the story is that USC has attempted to have Bush’s ban removed at least three times, with a USC spokesperson saying that the school would “love to have Reggie back around campus.” But the NCAA has denied the attempts.
Bush was a prolific running back in his three seasons at USC, which at the time was one of the top-tier programs in the nation under head coach Pete Carroll. He had an 11-year NFL career before now moving into broadcasting.
The argument can be made that Bush and USC have both well paid their dues from the sanctions. Bush’s reputation was forever tarnished and USC was banned from the postseason for two years and docked 30 scholarships. If the NCAA wanted to teach them a lesson, it already has, and then some.
Yet, Bush remains estranged from the university, despite the fact that he wants to come back and USC wants him back. We’ll see if the NCAA will let it happen one day.
More from Yahoo Sports: