[Update, 5:29 p.m.] An official with the Heisman Trophy Trust has taken issue with a Yahoo Sports report that former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of the Heisman Trophy by the end of the month, according to the "Dan Patrick Show" blog on SI.com.
"Yahoo! Sports claiming Heisman Trust has reached a decision is completely false," Rob Whalen, executive director of the Heisman Trophy Trust, told Dan Patrick Show Producer Paul Pabst, according to the blog. "The Heisman Trophy Trust has made no decision regarding the Reggie Bush matter."
The trust then released the following statement: "The status of the USC / Bush matter remains unchanged. Any reports to the contrary are inaccurate."
The Yahoo Sports report, however, did not say that the trust had reached a decision. It said that two sources close to the trust claimed the trust eventually will rule it agrees with the NCAA's assessment that Bush would have been ineligible to play during 2005 - and therefore ineligible for the Heisman Trophy he received for that year.
[Original post, 11:44 a.m.] Former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of the Heisman Trophy by the end of the month, Yahoo Sports is reporting.
Yahoo Sports cited two sources close to the Heisman trust, which oversees the award given to college football's top player, as saying the group is finishing its investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at USC during the 2005 season. The sources told Yahoo the Heisman trust will eventually rule it agrees with the NCAA's assessment that Reggie Bush would have been ineligible to play during 2005 - and therefore ineligible for the award.
The decision would make Bush the first player in the 75 years of the Heisman to be stripped of the title.
Sources told Yahoo the Heisman trust would strip Bush of the award and leave it vacant - instead of awarding it to another honoree like Texas quarterback Vince Young who finished second in the voting, but by a wide margin.
But on Tuesday, after the news began to spread online, ESPN's Chris Fowler said on SportsCenter that a decision had not yet been made, stoking even more speculation.
In June the NCAA ruled Bush had violated rules by accepting gifts, cash and other benefits while he played for the Trojans - violations that would have impacted his eligibility. The NCAA infractions committee also levied heavy penalties against the program as a whole - vacating its 13 wins, include their Orange Bowl victory against the Oklahoma Sooners, taking away 30 school scholarships and banning USC from bowl games for two years.
USC incoming and outgoing presidents involved in the matter have said they would be returning their recognitions associated with Bush's Heisman win - and that the now-New Orleans Saints running back would do so himself if and when he was asked.
News of the expected ruling has sent the Web into a tizzy, with Bush beginning to dominate Web and social media trends, and leaving fans to wonder several questions and debate the apparent decision.
Some wondered why Bush would be stripped of the award when O.J. Simpson was not, given his post-college run-ins with the law. Others questioned if Bush would have to publicly give back the trophy with the famous pose or how it might shake the star's confidence when he takes the field for the New Orleans Saints' opener Thursday against the Minnesota Vikings.