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Reggie Bush getting 2005 Heisman Trophy back, Heisman Trust cites ‘enormous changes in college athletics’

By Jill Martin, CNN

(CNN) — Reggie Bush is getting his 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy back after having had to relinquish the award in 2010.

In a press release Wednesday on, the decision by the Heisman Trust to reinstate Bush followed a deliberative process in which it closely monitored the “enormous changes” in the college football landscape.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” Michael Comerford, president of The Heisman Trophy Trust, said in a statement.

In a post on Instagram, Bush wrote, “No one can take from you what God has for you,” along with a picture of his Heisman Trophy.

Bush won the Heisman, awarded annually to the most outstanding collegiate football player, in 2005 when he rushed for 1,740 yards on 200 carries and scored 18 total touchdowns for the University of Southern California.

In 2010, Bush voluntarily gave up the coveted award after an NCAA investigation found he received benefits of several thousand dollars and a vehicle that were not allowed at the time and he was ruled ineligible as of 2004.

College athletes can now receive compensation for their name, image and likeness, known commonly as NIL.

A 2021 statement from the NCAA said its rules still prohibited “pay-for-play type arrangements” based on the recent changes to NIL rules and “previous penatlies, including those that are several years old, will not be re-evaluated or reconsidered.”

Bush has said the NCAA defamed him and filed a lawsuit against the collegiate sports governing body. He has said he wasn’t paid to play football at USC.

“[The NCAA] had to be forced into this,” Bush told The Athletic in 2020 following the introduction of NIL. “Unfortunately, in this country, we’re very reactive. We’re not proactive. Something had to happen first for people to want to change it or for people to see that there is an actual injustice there. Unfortunately, I feel like it had to come with me.

“There are certain steps and certain events that open people’s eyes and change people’s perspectives on things. I think that was one of them. It was important for us to get here to where we are now. Hopefully, thousands and thousands of kids will benefit from this point going forward,” he added.

Bush will also be invited to future Heisman Trophy ceremonies and USC will receive a replica trophy.

“I am grateful to once again be recognized as the recipient of the Heisman Trophy,” Bush said in a statement released by his representatives. “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.”

With Bush’s reinstatement, USC has the most Heisman Trophy winners in college football, with eight.

Former NFL quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel thanked the Trust “for doing what’s right and welcoming a storied member of our history back into the fold.”

“There were many voices throughout this process that stood on the table for Reggie simply because of the kind of human being he is. I look forward to being on that stage with you this December @ReggieBush you deserve it” Manziel wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Following his three seasons with USC, Bush played 11 seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills, rushing for 5,490 yards and 36 touchdowns and catching 477 passes for 3,598 yards and 18 TDs in 134 regular season games. Bush helped the Saints win their first Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLIV.

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