Home College Football Fourteen Years After Voluntarily Forfeiting It, Reggie Bush Reclaims His Heisman Trophy

Fourteen Years After Voluntarily Forfeiting It, Reggie Bush Reclaims His Heisman Trophy

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Photo Credit: Andy Staples

New York, NY–Reggie Bush reclaims his 2005 Heisman Trophy following the Heisman Trust’s announcement of its formal “reinstatement” amid what it describes as “enormous changes in the college football landscape.” The decision marks the culmination of a journey that began in 2010 when Bush voluntarily forfeited the trophy amidst significant NCAA sanctions against USC, relating to improper benefits he received during his Trojans tenure from 2003 to 2005. As part of the decision, Bush receives his Heisman Trophy back, while USC is awarded a replica. Moreover, Bush is once again invited to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies, starting from the 2024 season.

Expressing his sentiments, Bush conveyed his excitement about rejoining the esteemed fraternity of Heisman winners and contributing to the legacy of the Heisman Trophy. His reunion with the trophy was marked by a celebratory atmosphere during a summit meeting of the Trust, with approximately 15 Heisman winners present, according to Tim Henning, associate director of the Heisman Trust.

The decision to reinstate the Heisman Trophy was a result of a thorough and deliberative process by the Heisman Trust, which recognized the significant evolution in college athletics in recent years. With rules allowing student-athletes to receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness becoming widely accepted, the Trust deemed it appropriate to reinstate the trophy for Bush.

Michael Comerford, president of The Heisman Trophy Trust, expressed delight in welcoming Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family, citing his outstanding collegiate achievements. The Trust acknowledged the impact of the 2021 Supreme Court decision in the Alston case, which questioned the NCAA’s amateurism model and signaled a shift towards compensating student-athletes.

Bush’s campaign for the return of his trophy gained momentum following the enactment of rules allowing student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness in 2021. Notable support came from fellow Heisman winners, including Johnny Manziel, Matt Leinart, and Tim Brown, advocating for Bush’s reinstatement.

The decision holds significance beyond Bush’s personal accolades, as USC now officially boasts eight Heisman Trophies, the most of any school in the country. This reinstatement marks a pivotal moment in college football history, with Bush reclaiming his place among the sport’s most revered figures.

Reggie Bush’s on-field exploits at USC solidified his status as one of the most transcendent college athletes of the century. His remarkable career statistics and impact on the game continue to resonate, culminating in the restoration of his Heisman Trophy nearly two decades after his historic 2005 season.