The NCAA finally buckled to public and legal pressure and allowed student-athletes to profit from their own names, images, and likenesses, with the first deals launching at midnight on Thursday, July 1.
It’s good news for the future generations of college athletes, but it’s a tough break for past standouts like Reggie Bush. The former New Orleans Saints star and 2019 inductee to the team’s Hall of Fame was the first draft pick of the Sean Payton era, and at the time was the reigning Heisman Trophy winner — an award later taken from the USC Trojans legend after an NCAA investigation into allegations that his family that his family had received impermissible benefits owing to his status.
Under the new rules, some estimates suggest Bush could have received millions in sponsorships at USC. Instead, one of his greatest accomplishments was vacated. Now that NIL benefits are legal, it’s time to correct that mistake and give Bush his trophy back.
“I 1,000% want my damn Heisman Trophy back,” Bush told the comedian Kevin Hart during an interview last year. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it back. But to me the silver lining is, I believe what happened with me had to happen so we could get here in 2020.”
One important step towards righting that wrong was the end of Bush’s exile from USC, when the university formally ended its disassociation with him. He’ll be able to attend games and visit the campus again for the first time in a decade. Hopefully he’ll soon have his Heisman Trophy on display again in USC’s Heritage Hall, with a matching award waiting at home.
That’s what college football fans and commentators are calling for on social media. Even Bush himself chimed in. See for yourself: