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. Mike

    What exactly does "stripped" mean or accomplish? There is no such thing as a time machine. Bush already got the mayor's parade, the homecoming queen's honor, and the big pro contract. The other guys got 'condolences'. That history has already been written in stone, and nothing anyone can say can ever change that. "Stripping" sounds more like denial than justice.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Russ

    Y'know, except for the baked beans, just about everything named Bush is a real fsckup.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Noone

    Its the Media, they target black athletes....

    September 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      You're an idiot.... hows that for a target?

      September 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beetlejuice

      Sheppard learned a new insult – idiot! Way to go!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Anything to please.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim

    A lot of players accept free tuition, which is equivalent to money. It seems arbitrary what money/stuff is and isn't allowed.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. vmaxnc

    So let's take this all the way out. Would RB be where he is today if he hadn't won the Heisman? Based on his supposed offenses, would he have been benched for X number of games, thereby not producing the numbers that contributed to him getting the huge NFL contract he has now? Does he deserve what he has now? Should he be stripped of this as well?

    I'm not saying it's practical or even possible. But is it's (apparently) agreed that he doesn't deserve the Heisman, then maybe he doesn't deserve the other benefits as well.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      The NFL doesn't care, and why should they? If Bush gets the job done, who cares if he got a free car in college?

      September 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bradly

    We live in a world of shades grays- in everyone life. Just looks around your work place, business, schools and courts of law. Not saying he shouldn’t give it back -I’m saying the NCAA, Coach’s and especially agents are all to blame! He is a product of the situation and don’t think for a minute there was others who got away with it. Don’t for get it was the disgruntle agent who blow the whistle on Bush initially.-It similar to the MLB who took a blind eye in how it takes care of there own. NCAA needs more self policing. Taking gifts didn’t make him less of a football player ?

    September 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dc

    Who cares, follow an important story.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Californian

    Don't make this harder than it needs to be. Either remove the rules, degrade the trophy and let him keep it OR let the Heisman have honor and take it away from the recipient playing for a cheating team. Degradation VS Honor. Easy.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JLS

    The NCAA is a corrupt P.O.S. & always has been. OJ didn't kill anyone while he was eligible to play college football, not to mention the LACK of a conviction. What he did 20 years later has nothing to do with the Heisman. If the trust decides that he was in violation of his scholarship fine take it back, but these "Other" hypocrites who think Bush has to (be belittled) publicly in returning the trophy need to STF up & go Windex your house... Typical American hypocrites.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RG

    Blame Bush, Give the Heisman to Obama

    September 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Moron – this is not a political forum... or are you too dumb to read?

      September 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beetlejuice

      Don't make a joke – you might anger sheppard!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Get angry? – on a forum. You have got to be kidding!

      September 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • RG

      no sense of humor

      September 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Your Friend in Colorado

    Now, take away Cheney's Heisman trophy!

    September 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PDXSerric

    You break the rules, intentionally or not, you risk losing everything if caught. Look at the 14 year old golfer that had to give back his trophy because he accidentally had an extra club in his bag. Unlike some of the “professional” athletes who moan and whine when this happens, this kid said “Yeah, I screwed up” and sent the award back.

    It was his playing that won the award, but it was inadvertently breaking the rules that lost it. It sucks, but such is life.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. usc fan

    Yes take it from bush...current players are being punished for something he did.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Doug

    LOL, for the first time the same words spoken by every single Democrat in America are correct, its Bush's fault.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    The Heisman is universally accepted to go to the best PLAYER. Playing football has to do with what he does on the field, not off the field. Bush was generally accepted to be the best player on the field in 2005, so I don't see any legitimate reason to take the Heisman away from him. This is a sports award, not some kind of award of nobility, morality or character. This kind of b.s. feeds into the idea that these athletes are some kind of role models. It is not the same as taking a Grammy away from Milli Vanilli - those guys didn't sing the songs. Bush did run all those yards and score all those t.d.s. Whether Reggie Bush was paid under the table, actually went to class, kicked dogs, went to church, or anything else has nothing to do with his accomplishments on the field.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Really, Jim, this isn't too hard to understand.

      Nobody is suggesting that the award should involve "some kind of award of nobility, morality or character" or that the recipient must be some sort of global "role model" or that Reggie Bush needs to go to church regularly. That is just a stupid straw man argument.

      Rather, the Heisman trophy goes to the best Football player (as voted) in the NCAA. Bush was INELIGIBLE to play in the NCAA during the year in question – due to his own conduct. Therefore, he was INELIGIBLE to win the award.

      There really is no other legitimate course of action but to take the Heisman away.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
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