Heisman Trophy Trust reinstates Reggie Bush’s 2005 Heisman

For almost 14 years, Reggie Bush had gone without his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Bush forfeited it in 2010 following an NCAA investigation into receiving impermissible benefits at USC in 2004-05.

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On Wednesday, the Heisman Trophy Trust announced the historic reinstatement of Bush’s Heisman Memorial Trophy after it “considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” President of The Heisman Trophy Trust Michael Comerford stated in a release. “We considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years in deciding that now is the right time to reinstate the Trophy for Reggie.  We are so happy to welcome him back.”

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During his Heisman-winning season in 2005, Bush totaled 2,218 yards from scrimmage and scored 18 touchdowns while the Trojans made it to the Bowl Championship Series national championship. He received the fifth-most first place votes in Heisman Trophy history with 784.

According to a release, the Heisman Trust returned the Heisman to Bush and the replica to USC. Bush will also receive invitations to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies.

“The Trust’s decision to reinstate the Trophy follows a deliberative process in which it closely monitored the enormous changes in the college football landscape, including the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision, which questioned the legality of the NCAA’s amateurism model and opened the door to student athlete compensation; the ability of college football players to be paid for their name, image, and likeness (NIL); and the NCAA’s recent proposal to remove the cap on education-related payments,” the Heisman Trophy Trust stated in a release. “Recognizing that the compensation of student athletes is an accepted practice and appears here to stay, these fundamental changes in college athletics led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the Trophy to Bush, who unquestionably was the most outstanding college football player of 2005.”

Bush posted Wednesday on Instagram a photo of his 2005 Heisman along with a caption stating, “No one can take from you what God has for you.”

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Bush also released a statement via Shore Fire Media.

“I am grateful to once again be recognized as the recipient of the Heisman Trophy,” Bush stated. “This reinstatement is not only a personal victory but also a validation of the tireless efforts of my supporters and advocates who have stood by me throughout this arduous journey. I want to make it abundantly clear that I have always acted with integrity and in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the NCAA. The allegations brought against me were unfounded and unsupported by evidence, and I am grateful that the truth is finally prevailing.”

The USC football team welcomed Bush back to the Heisman family on social media, posting on X, “back where it belongs.”

“What a historic day!” USC head coach Lincoln Riley stated in a release. “Reggie’s reintroduction to the Heisman Family is a special moment for every person that has been associated with USC football. We are thrilled that Reggie’s athletic accomplishments as one of the greatest to ever play the game can officially be recognized. For a long time, the Heisman and USC have been synonymous and being able to acknowledge all eight of our winners is extraordinary.”

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The Heisman Trophy Trust is represented by Ted Wells and Joshua Hill of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Bush is represented by Levi McCathern and Ty Sheaks of the McCathern firm and Ben Crump, and both parties “worked collaboratively” with the Heisman Trophy Trust’s counsel, according to a release.

“We thank attorneys Ted Wells and Josh Hill for their excellent work and counsel for the past two years in helping us come to this decision,” Comerford stated in a release.