September 7th, 2010
11:44 AM ET

Heisman official disputes report on Reggie Bush

Former USC star Reggie Bush poses with the Heisman Award after winning the prestigious title in 2005.

[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

"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. Do you think Trust should take back Bush's Heisman?

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.

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Scott

    The report is untrue . Chris Folwer just reported .

    September 7, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • skullnrose


      September 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      Scott is right, the report is untrue. Nothing has been decided yet. There is still hope for Reggie Bush. If any award should be taken away it should be O.J. Simpson's Heisman Trophy.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • junior

      He doesn't care, he is smiling all the way to the bank.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Its all a Joke!! You you were to give all these College Football, Track, and basketball players a college entrance exam, a huge percent, (maybe as high as 50 percent) coulden't pass the test. They are used by the universities to Bring In the money!! The corruption is deep, and wide spread.... It seems we just close our eyes to it. Many players have people take tests for them, classesses are designed by the schools to put many of the players that couldent pass the general subjects, such as english, and basic math, not to mention a foreign language! It seems they cherry pick individuals, when the whole tree is full of fruit that should not be there. Sports in universities are corrupt, and a huge joke!!
      Its all about MONEY!!! physical education teachers makeing multi million contracts!! While phd's in math and science very little... something is wrong.... and its no R Bush, its the WHOLE SYSTEM! Corrupt to the gill!

      September 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      I think if Reggie Bush has to give his up then so do others. Heck all the Heisman's should be given back probably. So if you get one get them all.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mangi

      How is this going to hurt Mr. Bush? It would appear to me that being awarded the Heisman trophy already accomplished the ultimate goal, which was to land a lucrative contract with the Saints. Mo money. Mo money. Mo money.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      Very selfish of Bush to jepordize the future of fellows players. He and his family knew the dominoe effect it would have on today's youth. Now that they ALL have the big bucks, give back to the onr's they have now destroyed!!!!!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

      September 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cary

      Either way, when the cows are gone, all you should be able to do is close the barn doors so the other animals don't get out. The NCAA is a private corporation making millions of dollars a year, while using the backs of college athletes. The Olympic Committe finally realized there's no such thing as an amateur, and it's time for the NCAA to admit it too. Perhaps the athletes should be paid by the NCAA for making the NCAA money. After all, it's the NCAA that needs the athletes to make money, so why shouldn't the athletes be paid by the NCAA as an employer?

      September 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shorty

      To those of you yelping that OJ Simpson's Heisman should be taken away, not Bush, remember that at issue here is conduct DURING the time the player was in college, not anything that went on afterward. While I hardly think OJ is an untarnished role model (to say the least) the fact is, all the trouble he got into was well after earning the Heisman, in fact well after his NFL career was over. So, unfortunately you're comparing apple to oranges.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • past participle

      True, not true, who cares? Why are we living in the past instead of concentrating on learning from the mistakes and making the future better? Regardless of eligibility in terms of financial or material gain, aren't these (and so many other) honors, trophies, and accolades awarded based ultimately on athletic performance and success on the field of contention? If an individual has the ability to garner acclaim from his/her peers and the piblic due to an innate or developed talent or skill, why shouldn't that be rewarded for its own sake? Does the fact that someone is ineligible to play lessen the awesomeness of the ability displayed and demonstrated to the point where it's undeserving of the spoils gained? Slap the wrists of those who made the mistake and/or deceit possible, take action to prevent it from happening again, but let the record stand that the deeds accomplished were well and truly done. Good or bad, real life rarely allows do-overs or the opportunity to erase mistakes when we want or need to for far more serious matters, why should this be an exception?

      September 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      ronnie who? Reggie who? wait, what's his name again?

      September 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeEnglish

      Gee Mike, it looks like you failed all of those same "english classesses". Oh wait, maybe you're a college student athlete?

      September 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      I agree few things in our culture are as corrupt as college football and basketball. Which is why I refuse to watch or pay attention to minor league, I mean college sports. I believe an entertainer should get fair market value plus the quality of play is lower than the pros. Finally how sad is it white collar alumni care more about how non-student athletes perform than how many Rhodes scholars their alma mater is putting out? Spend your money supporting the true students not the felons.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • crissig

      FREE PETE!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom4650

      Of course there is not decision,,,,,,,,,,,,not one of those do gooders has the cajones to do what is right and should have been done months ago. Take the damn trophy. put it on display and let everyone remember what might have been.

      September 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Asylum1

    Oh.. I thought Kim Kardashian had something to do with it..

    September 7, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • CA Ed

      Thats ok.
      I thought they were talking about the former Pres.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Yes, strip G.W. Bush of the heisman !!!

      September 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      No, not G.W. . . . . his father! 🙂

      September 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Toni

    True or not he should be stripped of it. To "earn" it he engaged in behavior that was not only unbecoming a Heisman winner but would have made him ineligible for it. As for OJ he truly earned it. His post football behavior should have no bearing. Kudos to the Heisman committee of they take it back. USC is a sham. (PS – The coach knew all about it – that or he's an idiot.)

    September 7, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • vmaxnc

      I agree. The suggestion that OJ having become what he has as a reason to strip him of his Heisman is ridiculous. In any event, wasn't it sold and melted down?

      September 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOHN

      OJ should have it stripped also. Not for killing those two people but because he didn't take enough class to be a full time student athlete. He opened his mouth on Monday night football years ago when other guest were talking about going back toget their degrees. When OJ said how many hours he needed to complete to get his degree the booth went silent....based on the number of hours needed for his degree he COULD NOT have been eliglble to play at USC and everyone knew it.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ace23

      Reggie Bush was not the first College football player to accept money before he turned pro. He will not be the last. The NCAA does not know how many "College" football players have accepted such gifts, what the nature of those gifts was, or even who gave the gifts.

      This is just like steroids in baseball–no one knows how deep the problem goes, and to make a rash judgment against one and only one player is simply wrong.

      If the NCAA is looking for someone to blame for this ordeal, it should look no further than itself. This is the same organization the blatantly violates its own agreement with the players by selling their likenesses to EA Sports and other electronic media groups. This is simply unacceptable.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |


      September 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • smh

      JOHN...proof please...sources, etc.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • crissig

      When OJ was in college the same things were happening. They just were not illegal yet! If a tree falls in the woods..........

      September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. debbie

    I am not defending anything Reggie Bush may, or may not, have done, but to strip him and not OJ Simpson is a travesty.

    September 7, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JDT

      why should OJ be stripped. Bush accepted money/stuff while he played. Because of this, he violated the rules-AS A PLAYER. To my knowledge, Simpson followed the rules and earned the award. Don't mix OJ the killer with his football career in college. It is not applicable.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.J.

      Comparing Bush's scenario to OJ's is comparing apples and oranges.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lance

      Reggie was a bad boy WHILE playing at USC. O.J. was a bad boy AFTER playing at USC. That's the distinction – not what they did, but WHEN they did it. /facepalm

      September 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norris

      This rule pertains to "players" and players only not post football era. OJ did not break any rules during his NCAA carreer, unlike Reggie on the other hand did and disqualified/stripped himself of his award.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • s


      Do you even understand what the Heisman is? It is awarded to the best college football player. If the NCAA determines that somebody is NOT a college football player because they have violated the rules on eligibility WHILE HE WAS PLAYING, it makes sense for the Heisman Trust to decide whether or not that trophy should be returned. OJ, no matter what you think of him (he was found Not Guilty in case you forgot), had his problems DECADES after playing, and his behavior had NOTHING to do with his eligibility as a player or how he played.

      If you are bitter about the verdict, take it up with the judicial system, but it is totally unrelated to college football and you sound silly bringing it up, just as CNN is silly for evening mentioning OJ in this article.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Actually, "s", you sound sillier for putting in the "Not Guilty" part.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Debbie, I know what you are getting at, but like it or not, OJ was found not guity in a court of law. In the eyes of the law, he did not kill anyone. The NCAA should take that into account. Yes, he owes the Brown family for the wrongful death suit, but that does not prove or proclaim guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Agreed. This is overly extreme. His talent earned this award, not his money.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • RebelSix

      a further distinction on the OJ simpson issue. In the "legal" trial, you must prove the defendants guilt leaving in their minds there is "no doubt" that he did the crime. If there is any doubt, by law definition, you MUST declare not guilty.

      In the "civil" trial – you just need to have the majority of the jurors believe he's guilty to win the case. So even if 5 jurors believe the case is without merit, but 7 do – the defendant loses.

      So in OJ's situation he was NOT GUILTY of a crime, but found guilty in owing money to the family. This has nothing to do with his school records. While attending college there was NO issues EVER raised that he was not eligble to play football at his college.

      With BUSH – the Heisman group is saying he may not have been a qualified to be a college football player that year he won the trophy. Thus not being qualified to play, he would not have been considered if this information had been available at the time he was awarded the trophy.

      I agree – CNN should never have put the comparison between bush and OJ in this article. That was poor reporting and I blame the EDITOR more than I do the author. It's the editors job to ensure ACCURATE information is put out on the air/print not just sleazy tabloid garbage. This kind of editing lowers the esteem of ALL CNN reporters.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      I agree with Debbie 100% all of the way.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roberta

      The OJ incident is completely separate from Reggie. Reggies issues where during his season and directly affect his awards for College ball. OJ's problems were after his career as a football player. Yes, he got away with murder, but it had nothing to do with football.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • smh

      Ryan...actually you're the one that's really silly. He was found not guilty of the crime...agree with it or not...doesn't matter...he was found not guilty...end of statement.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. American

    Kind of silly to try and rewrite history.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • smarky

      It's not rewriting history, if it is revealing the truth of what actually did historically happen. It's just writing it as it should have been written at the time. The fact is that based on his actions at the time, he was not eligible to win the award. Unfortunately, sometimes when people lie, cheat, or steal, it doesn't come to light until sometime later. But though it comes to light a little while later, people still have to pay the piper. Ask a famous golfer about this one.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • hasc

      Why not? Politicians are doing it.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Political Junkie

    If this story is indeed true, Bush should be stripped of this trophy. Rules are rules and if you can't play by the rules, so be it.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jill

    Debbie, the difference is that Reggie's infractions occurred while he was in contention for the trophy. OJ's happened well after.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby Sox, Slidell

      No, they are referring to OJ's various run ins with the law BEFORE he got the Heissman.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leah (TXanimal)

    He accepted the award publicly, so he should give it back publicly. I'm sure looking at his bank statement afterward will do wonders for any shaken confidence he may have suffered...

    September 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linda

    It does seem unreal to strip Reggie Bush of the award but he was doing something illegal during the time he was being considered for the award; now his life appears to be on the up and up. OJ on the other hand did earn his award legally although his behavior since has been deemed illegal. Just goes to show........

    September 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Texas Pete

    Make sure the trophy is melted down, so that Bush is not tempted to try to steal it back later like Mr Sunkist.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. blahb31

    I agree with Jill. OJ is an ass, but there is nothing about his college record that should strip him of the Heisman.

    Whether it's true or not, I do think that it should be awarded to Vince Young in this case. Who cares what the margin of victory was? It has never mattered in the past.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. keith

    The difference between OJ and Bush is that Bush was ineligible when he won it – OJ had run ins with the law AFTER college. Take it away from Bush....he does NOT deserve it when they played him when they shouldn't have

    September 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Zeus the dog

    I can't picture Vince Young accepting the award.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • TX

      I'm pretty sure Vince has gone on record and said he wouldn't accept it if it was indeed stripped from Reggie.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    He no longer deserves credit for having tapped Kim Kardashian either, because without that season he wouldn't have been such a highly paid first round draft pick, and she wouldn't have given him the time of day.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      hahahahahaha nice

      September 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mybikedied

    It's only a game...Maybe the Heisman Trust will break O.J. out of his cage to get the trophy back?

    September 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
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