September 14th, 2010
05:06 PM ET

Reggie Bush to forfeit 2005 Heisman Trophy

Former University of Southern California star running back Reggie Bush has decided to forfeit the Heisman Trophy he won in 2005, according to a statement on the website of his pro team, the New Orleans Saints.

The decision comes two months after the NCAA ruled Bush had violated rules by accepting gifts, cash and other benefits while he played for USC - violations that would have affected his eligibility.

"The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting," Bush said in Tuesday's statement.

"In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals. Nor should it distract from outstanding performances and hard-earned achievements either in the past, present or future."

Last week, Yahoo Sports reported that two sources close to the Heisman Trust, which oversees the award given to college football's top player, claimed the trust eventually would rule it agrees with the NCAA's assessment that Bush was ineligible to play during 2005 - and therefore would strip the trophy from Bush.

The NCAA infractions committee in June also levied heavy penalties against USC's football program, vacating its 13 wins, include the team's Orange Bowl victory against the Oklahoma Sooners, taking away 30 school scholarships and banning USC from bowl games for two years.

In his statement, Bush said winning the Heisman was one of the greatest honors of his life.

"But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it," Bush said. "I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of  my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans and the unconditional love of my family and friends.

"And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.

"It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005."

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soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Bob S In Austin

    Sad to hear this, and something needs to be done about college sports. It's such a big money maker for the top schools, and the athletes risk it all in hopes for a shot at turning pro. In my opinion, they should be paid a modest sum for their efforts, say $500 per month, and the money should come out of TV revenues and split evenly among the conference. But we should still keep under the table payments illegal.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dactyl

      Athletes get paid living stipends based on locality that are well over $500/month...and they get tuition, room, food, clothing and all sorts of gifts at bowl games. Why do people have this notion that college athletic don't get paid? And the fact that only 4-5 athletic departments made money last year, where would any additional payments come from?

      September 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bob

    I just hope this doesn't affect his 2010 performance – I have him on my FFL team, by god!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Evan

    Okay I certainly agree with the sentiment of cleaning up the sport (ie Big Ben, Ray Lewis etc), but I think Reggie got the shaft just as some other college athletes did before and others will undoubtedly in the future. NCAA football and basketball (at least Div I) are all about the money, this is about trying to keep more of the money for themselves.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. keith greystoke

    no wonder our morals are so screwed up. let a kid from the getto get some help with housing and make the university and him really suffer. kill a couple of people and set the man free. invade a country with lies and you get to be president. and the best way to sell gold is to get a convicted fellon to do the advertising.WOW

    September 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Da Man

    Who cares – I'm sick of hearing about it. He's just another cheating punk anyway. The Heisman has been diminished in recent years anyways – most of the time it doesn't even go to the best player in the country. If they really wanted to punish this cheater they'd take some of his over inflated salary and donate it to every college in America for a madatory class callled "Ethics". Then make Reggie the "poster boy" on why student atheletes have to take it – LOL.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Biola

    I don't think the punishment fits the crime. These people are NUTS.........................

    September 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff

    So he took some money from some ppl who wouldnt take easy money. i know that it wasnt even close to the money he made USC while he was there and after he lefted. He was by far the best college player that yr and earned the award. College players make the college millions of dollars and dont see a single dime from it. Take or give back the award that doesnt change the stats he put up... Ppl get a life and stop being jealous of these athletes just because they turned pro and Ur at a desk.. Get over it!!!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nathan

    Why is it everytime a black person screws up everyone has to play the race card, he obviously screwed up because he volunteered to give it back. I am so sick of everyone making it a race issue.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    Reggie Bush only gets slapped on the wrist by returning the trophy. He'll still make millions in the NFL, live a great life, and laugh at everyone else. While USC gets all the punishment. These schools shouldn't have to babysit everyone. It's impossible to monitor all your athletes 24/7.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      I agree 100%!!!! How the heck is the school supposed to know what Bush did in his off time while at school? I'm a Marine that lives in the barracks and my supervisors almost never know what I'm up to in my free time. College athletes are anywhere from 18-22 years old,they're grown men,and are expected to act like one,not have to be baby-sitted by their coaches who have much more important things to attend to then baby-sitting their players. This is such crap that the NCAA is penalizing USC for this.

      September 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • abigguy2

      How much $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ did USC make off of Reggie Bush? And if you think the schools don't know what goes on with players and boosters and agents and tutors and... then you live in fantasyland. There are no innocent victims here.

      September 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Trash

    I wouldn't have given it back...he earned that trophy,he was still a great college athlete. I think its crap that they wait till 5 years later to decide to hit him with it,that's ridiculous. And to penalized USC's program for it? That seems uncalled for,at least in the amount that it was penalized,taking away scholoarships really affects some athletes futures and their chances of ever making a career out of football. Reggie Bush's actions didn't effect anything at all,not the game not anyone else,just himself,so why should the school be penalized for his actions 5 years later? This is ridiculous and uncalled for on the NCAAs part. Its one thing to take away a Heisman trophy,but to take away scholarships is totally different,

    September 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nathan

    NISHI is that why he was convicted of armed robbery

    September 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Porque

    He took the money, he broke the rules, then he has to give back the trophy...those are college football rules.
    at least he didn't do steroids.
    It's a shame they dont practice that in the MLB...They used steroids in MLB, they clearly broke the rules, they should give back the money/awards given while taking the drug.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wth

    so he got in trouble, what about the college he played at? what happens to them, fines? firings? h

    September 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The_Dude

    Kim Kardashian must be on the heisman board

    September 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael Allen

    Its just a stupid trophy. Who cares?

    September 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
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