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. Christine

    Oh Boo Hoo now my whole evening will just be crushed lol

    September 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick W

    I didn't know George played football!

    September 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andulamb

    Why are people comparing Bush to O.J.? This isn't about something Bush did AFTER he won the Heisman. It's about what he did BEFORE he won it. And if it's determined that what he did, had it been known, would have made him ineligible for the Heisman, then certainly his award could be taken away. Obviously what O.J. did was worse, but it has nothing to do with his eligibilty for the Heisman since it occurred almost thirty years later. You're comparing apples and oranges. Heh heh, oranges. O.J. The Juice. Nevermind.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Terry

    It is so true that the major funding for a NCAA school goes into the athletic program and they bring in people from foreign countries and give them housing and food as well as full scholarships. I met some gemale volleyball players that were brought in to the University of Arkansas and they told me what all they got for coming here. Cars, finances, so called work study where they did not really report to a real job on campus, and it is disturbing. I do not think however, that the person namely Reggie Bush should be the one penalized. He was a very young man child when this all went down. He was presented with what he thought was gifts and he had adults in authority offering them. They knew what was okay is what most students his age would think. He was an adolescent . That is where parents should step up and say wait a minute, is this appropriate. If the schools want to do wrong and teach the students it is okay to not pass and still get a degree because you are a good athlete, parents should care enough to realize that it is rare statistically for an athlete to make a living after the glory days of college are over with no real education. Unloess they are really studious and work for the scholarship they may as well print one out online because without the education that comes with the piece of paper it is worth nothing. Atletes work hard for the team. It is not easy to be one. They put a lot of wear and tear on their bodies for the sake of their dreams and the promises made to them by authority figures. One bad break or tear and it is over for them. It is sad that college athletics is so POLITICAL. Funding for scholarships is POLITICAL. Cheating is ramping and everybody knows it. It hurts the children the most who often lose their hopes and dreams while trying to live them because they are taken in by the promises of people who do not really care about them after they are done using them. Reggie Bush is lucky. He is a great football player and got a good job. But he did none of it in an ethical manner. So what does that say for the man he has become. Just like OJ he should not be honored for being unethical. Atletes are gifted and blessed. They are not Gods and they are not to be bought and sold in college but they may as well be owned by the schools that purchase them. It is just too much pressure on young people while they are trying to go from adolescence into adulthood. The survivors are the ones who have strong family support in most cases. ETHICS is a required General Education course. But likely Reggie never went to one of them classes and if he did he did not learn anything. He was taught to think like and be a machine. And he he likely does not really care one way or the other about this trophy. he is a millionaire and he got there by being and unethical cheat but he was directed to do so. I think he may know beter now that it is too late but as someone above said he laughs on his way to the bank. But inside we all have our demons and at some level he knows he did not achieve his goals or dreams the way he thought it would be. This should be embarassing to him, the school and his folks who should have stepped up to the adults who were running the athletic program and made sure that education was what he should focus on just as much as athletics. Any athlete who thinks it is all going to fall into place think about all those that go into an NFL team young and in a coule years get fired for doing soemehing stupid like drunk driving or busted for drugs. Young people need time to grow up without all that extra pressure trying to perform for the masses. They pay a much higher price than they get paid in most cases. So do the students who are not getting the scholarships and are academically capable of performing great in colleges and becoming scientists or engneers or social workers many different fields to enter. At my university my professor kicked the male athletes out of his class for missing so much classes for no valid reason. They threatened to beat him up. I was there. The school fired him. The athletes stayed and they won in the finals. Before they could have the celebration for the win 4 of the players of the 1st string were caught selling pot out of the dorm. The coach was fired. The students were sent on to a bigger university. The school just went NCAA 2 years ago. It is now having huge financial problems and only 17% of the students that enroll there graduate. They drop out. That is so sad. I have witnessed why. Since they are now NCAA they take the athletes who don't want to do their work and have them "tutored" and when they get tested it is private testing. It is not fair to the general student body population. So sad.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. docliptz

    I read "bush" and "stripped" and was disappointed in the article.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pacoatemiami

    You can't take back the fact that he won the Heisman and you can't force him to return it. This is like saying that prior victories are "vacated". You can say it, but it doesn't make it so unless you have the power to travel back in time. The Heisman committee obviously thinks highly of themselves, but even they have to admit that they don't have the magical ability to turn back time.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joseph cecil smith

    this is what college sports is about, getting kids able to play, the bribes and payoffs are just harder to spot usually.. don't even worry about taking this award back.. make the awards much less important, then every player is a star and very super in their way.. trophys are for boys and girls.. grow up and pay attention to china and US Jobs and economic advancement instead...

    September 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DP in PS

    Why take OJ's trophy away? Y'all seem to forget OJ was found not guilty in his criminal trial. In his civil trial the bar is set very low in determining financial responsibility. OJ is in jail now for trying to take back stolen sports memorabilia, a stupid move if ever I've seen one. But, he won the trophy fair and square and within the Heismann's policy. Reggie Bush and USC did not. There's a big difference there. I understand why some ofyou feel the way you do, but you have to narrow your focus on what either player did to tarnish the Heismann, Reggie was directly guilty of that, OJ was not. Again, the latter being found not guilty in his criminal trial.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. STLrose

    Pete Rose & Mark McGwire (and all of the other juicers) should be eligible for Cooperstown...Oops! Wrong sport.
    Reggie Bush should be able to keep his Heisman. O.J. should not. Just 'cause.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Felicia

    That's a shame. I think the ncaa waited too long for this matter to be settled. Reggie Bush should keep his award because this may not be something he was made aware of at that time. The coach or His assistant may have KNOWN he was ineligible to play. They should make the school suffer the loss and not the player. A very PROUD Honor Has been taken away from an athlete. The dignity and prestige has been lost after so much time from this achievement. I really hate to see a talent face a scandal which they have hot actually been actively involved participant. To strip him of this award is real digrace to the ncaa and the school. Nothing good has come out of this it's a shame.

    September 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. terbrearo

    Finally America cares about a Bush being stripped of something, too bad it's insignificant compared to the presidency.

    September 7, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Donald in CA

    O.J. didnt comitt any crimes while at USC. Reggie knew what he was doing and didnt care while at USC.

    September 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Trover Marie

    One name: O.J. Simpson.
    Would Mr. Bush have played any better or worse for that matter had he not taken the funds for his parents, etc.? Clearly, not. As another fan stated above, I venture to guess that not more than 10% of these jocks could have entered the universities for which they played (play) absent the sports scholarships. Let's face it, these young men are nothing more than cash cows. Other than a few universities who really care about education (Boston College, Stanford) these guys are being used. I say, let Mr. Bush keep the award...he did exactly as he was asked...he won games and he made USC a ton of money!

    September 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JEff

    The funny thing here is that, while other college kids are able to work measly jobs to have spending money, college athletes are on the playing field PRACTICING every day, going to class and PRACTICING. There is no time for them to make a little extra spending $$$. They should be somewhat compensated because of all the effort.

    I ran track in college, that sucked up almost all of my free time. Talk about being a poor college student.

    September 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    Why? He got the award because he earned it with his athletic performance on the field. That is what the award is for. Stupid!

    September 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
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