Reports: Bush plans to file lawsuit against NCAA 

Former USC running back and current FOX college football analyst Reggie Bush will reportedly file a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA over a July 2021 statement. 

According to Kyle Bonagura of ESPN, Bush plans to file the lawsuit Wednesday, and the statement in question was issued to ESPN and other media outlets July 28, 2021. 

The statement made by an NCAA spokesperson in question is below, according to ESPN. 

“Although college athletes can now receive benefits from their names, images and likenesses through activities like endorsements and appearances, NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements,” according to the statement. “The NCAA infractions process exists to promote fairness in college sports. The rules that govern fair play are voted on, agreed to and expected to be upheld by all NCAA member schools.” 

According to Bonagura who obtained a statement from law firm McCathern, PLLC and Bush’s lawyers, the lawsuit is based “on the NCAA maliciously attacking (Bush)’s character through a completely false and highly offensive statement that was widely reported in the media and substantially and irreparably damaged his reputation.” 

Bush vacated the 2005 Heisman Trophy following an investigation in 2010 that found him accepting of impermissible benefits while attending USC. 

According to the lawsuit obtained via Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, it states that “the NCAA’s claim that Mr. Bush engaged in ‘pay-for-play’ (the ‘Statement’) is reasonably and widely understood to mean that Mr. Bush received payment in return for playing football at the University of Southern California.” 

The lawsuit seeks to prove that the NCAA’s statement “is completely false and highly offensive.”