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. Waldo4u

    I agree with Ditka. Give him the trophy. He earned it on the football field.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bohunkfootball

    Pay UP?? NIshi Nishi Nishi... what goes through your head?? LOL Now Now Trash..dont be too hard on Nishi To quote a famous movie..."much anger in him" hehe

    September 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Primo

    the true sad part of all of this is that there are many student athletes that take the cash, get caught and their careers are over long before becoming a pro.... Bush is one of the lucky ones.... his natural talents were able to carry him through... this is much bigger then a Heisman trophy, and more about the adults that exploit the kids to get their School a win... and they really don't care about these kids beyond that

    September 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      You got it. How do we punish the slimebags that exploit these kids? That is what the NCAA should be doing. But oh wait the NCAA is the ring leader. The NCAA should be disbanded

      September 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Adam

    Everyone here is missing the point entirely. How is this Front Page news worthy? Who cares? This is about as important as the VMAs

    September 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Ha! Totally agree – whatz a VMA anyway???

      September 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jlg

    OJ was found innocent... that doesn't make him innocent... and the last i heard he was convicted for being a thief and is in jail. the heisman commitee is a joke... remember when Ryan Leaf won over Payton Manning? Poor Reggie – you can be a murder and a thief and get to keep your trophy – but if you have an agent that gives you bad advice then you have to return it... Reggie is a class act... OJ and the Heisman committee are not.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AJ

    Soooo, now that this fiasco is settled, does this mean that Vince will receive the trophy due to Reggie 'turning it in'???

    September 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. James

    The NCAA is an organization that exploits the talents of young men and women so that suits can make a buck. In the end the students always suffer and the suits just make more money. Some good old boys are standing around thinking they have integrity and ethics because of their enforcement of rules... but all they are doing is screwing the student. Who suffers as a result of all this? The 30 students who now have to pay full tuition, the athletes who won't be able to experience a bowl game, Reggie Bush who was just exploited anyway for his amazing athletic ability. How do any of the slimebags that actually did anything wrong get punished? How does the NCAA actually even justify that it does ANYTHING good for college sports?

    September 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DIGGER82887

    NEWS FLASH: 99.99% of all successful, award-winning, rich, famous, powerful people break the rules.

    Why is Reggie Bush singled out this time?

    September 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ThemBones

    Good. It should've been Vince Young's in the first place. A lot of thos id*ots that voted for Bush voted weeks before the regular season was even over. Nevermind, Vince Young was clearly the best player on the field in the USC-Texas Rose Bowl game that night.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |


    September 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. deelow

    They can have their stinking trophy, they can't take away his Super bowl ring, nor his million dollar contract. Its a shame the schools get to make millions, but the kid can't get a free meal, free clothes, can't sell their old jersey or get a loan on a car, based on his future earning potential. Maybe the rules need to change.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    A billion dollar industry that does not pay its employees penalizes a player for taking money while another past winner (OJ) is sitting in prision and there has never been a discussion about taking his Heisman away. Taking cash apparently worse than armed robbery and double murder... alegedly!!

    September 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SLIMJIM89D

    F YEAH!!!!!

    That's what happens when you get involved with those dangblasted Kardashian-Folk!

    September 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sven02d2

      Haaaaahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!

      September 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dan

    Its total selfishness. He broke the rules, got honored for it, got an NFL job, is making a lot of money and the people who are truly suffering are the hardworking kids on USC's team who have to sit out and loose an opportunity to forge their careers. Yeah give the trophy back and be stripped of the award...but it really is too little to late.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |

    Mr Bush is a class act. The Olympics gave up on the 'amateur' charade years ago and the world didn't come to an end. It time the same is done with College athletics. The networks make money, the colleges make money, the coaches get huge salaries... everybody has their hand out except the students who need to work a full time job as an athlete as well as attend classes. There needs to be some equity here...

    September 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
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