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Reggie Bush gets the Heisman Trophy back

The Heisman Trust announced Wednesday that it will return the Heisman Trophy to former USC running back Reggie Bush, who lost the honor after a 2010 NCAA investigation found that he and his family received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from a sports agent.

Bush won the award in 2005 after rushing for 1,740 yards and averaging 8.7 yards per carry, but the NCAA expunged his college statistics as of late 2004 as a result of its investigation. Therefore, the Heisman Trust said he was ineligible to win the 2005 award, leaving no winner that year.

Former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2001, posted a photo of Bush receiving the trophy on X:

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate achievements,” Michael Comerford, president of the Heisman Trust, said in a statement. “We have considered the tremendous changes in college athletics in recent years and decided that now is the right time to reinstate the trophy for Reggie. We are so happy to welcome him back.”

In announcing the formal reinstatement of the trophy to Bush, the Heisman Trust cited “tremendous changes in the college football landscape,” the most significant of which was college athletes’ right to compensation, which was codified in a 2021 Supreme Court decision.

“Recognizing that student athlete compensation has been and appears to be an accepted practice, these fundamental changes in college athletics have led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the trophy to Bush, who is without a doubt the most distinguished was a college football player. player of 2005,” the Heisman Trophy Trust said in a statement.

Bush and a significant number of college football fans, commentators and fellow Heisman Trophy winners have waged a long campaign seeking the return of Bush’s trophy, which he returned to the Heisman Trust in 2012 (USC has returned its copy of Bush’s Heisman returned two years earlier).

“Personally, I am thrilled to reunite with my fellow Heisman winners and be part of the storied legacy of the Heisman Trophy, and I am honored to return to the Heisman family,” Bush told ESPN . “I also look forward to working with the Heisman Trust to advance the organization’s values ​​and mission.”

Starting this year, Bush will be eligible to attend the Heisman Trophy presentation. USC will also get back the Heisman Trophy replica it received after Bush won the award.

Last year, Bush filed a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA, saying he participated in a “pay-for-play type scheme” during his time at USC. The lawsuit stems from a statement the NCAA made in 2021 in response to questions from reporters about whether Bush’s stats would be reinstated following the Supreme Court ruling that allowed college athletes to be paid. According to online court records in Indiana, where the NCAA is headquartered and where the lawsuit was filed, the NCAA filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming her statement was not defamatory, did not mention Bush by name and was merely about “the NCAA’s own views on the enforcement of its own rules, none of which are or could be false.

Bush’s legal team plans to fight the motion to dismiss at a hearing Monday. It also asked the NCAA to reinstate Bush’s USC statistics, a request that was denied by the NCAA in October because it “neither provides any new information directly related to the decision nor identifies procedural errors in the handling of the matter that affects the holiday. of-record penalties,” the NCAA said in its response, which was obtained by The Washington Post.