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. Wes

    The NCAA is such does whether or not he accepted gifts impact the fact that he was one of the greatest college football players in the history of the sport? He EARNED that Heisman, case closed. This isn't a steroid or HGH case. The NCAA makes billions of dollars off of the exploitation of the talent of young men and women, who are they to say we as college athletes are immoral to make a few bucks on the side?

    September 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      They are not saying he was immoral. They are saying he was ineligible. That is a big difference. There are eligibility standards associated with winning the award. Bush didn't meet them. This is really a simple case...

      September 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      Which speaks to how corrupt and hypocritical the NCAA is..."what? Players are making money off of THEIR talent, instead of just us making millions of dollars off of it? NEVER!"

      September 7, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. random

    I believe he should be able to keep his recognition. Because the school was corrupt has nothing to do with his performance on the field. Obviously he was AMAZING and deserved the Heisman; taking it away from him would be punishing the wrong person/people.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      He was corrupt. He took benefits from agents. So did his family. The school – at best – looked the other way. But this is not a case of the school being 100% in the wrong and Bush being an innocent bystander. I could understand the argument if the facts were different – if USC were corrupt but Bush has nothing to do with in – but that just isn't the case here. The majority of issues uncovered in the NCAA's investigation involved the conduct by relating to Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake


      nothing to do with *it

      by *and relating to.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pt

    That last paragraph of the article is complete BS. There is a HUGE difference: Simpson wasn't stripped of his Heisman because he earned it legitamitely, while Bush faces stripping because he didn't earn it legitamitely. What someone does afterwinning the award legitamitely should not, and does not, mitigate taking it away.

    Sure Bush excelled and played awesomely with USC, but he willingly accepted gifts, cash and other "benefits" knowing it was against NCAA rules. It is his own fault that he is being stripped of his award.

    Perfect analogy-someone gets wasted and drives home, knowing full well driving while intoxicated is against the law. He/she is pulled over and arrested, and his/her license is revoked, even if he/she drove perfectly before hand.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Timon

    Jim, I totally agree with you. The award is supposed to go to the best Player. So what does it matter if he recieves gifts or not, what he does off the field should have little impact on the award. I think if he broke rules, then he should be penalized for it, but not take his award away. Thats just stupid.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    It's too bad someone can't take 8 years away from GW Bush!

    September 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reality Is

    This award (The Heisman Trophy) was presented to Rggie Bush for his "accomplishments on the field playing football". It has nothing to do with, nor should it associated with the NCAA's actions against USC or anything he did off the field. The question is, Did Reggie Bush perform in such a manor on the field that would warrent this award? The voters said he did and the trophy was awarded to him for that. Is there some stipulation that come with the award that says if later on down the line you are found to have violated a rule the committee doesn't like, you must forfit the trophy?
    This is just an unfotunate incident for the NCAA and the Heismen Trust. Let it go and put your efforst towards preventing this from happening again.
    Remember, the bottom line is he did what he was presented the award for doing.....

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

      Reality, you don't seem to get the "reality" of the situation. He should not have even been playing. Hence, he should not have had the chance to win the award.

      It's not hard. Why is it so hard for you??

      September 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jesus of Nazareth

    Quick Reggie, sell that Heisman to 'Pawn Stars' before it's worth nothing.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AKC

    Unfortunately, this guy who we found out so blatantly disregarded all the rules, will not give one thought about this. It is the right thing to do. To the statement in the article about why Reggie Bush and not O.J.? While Reggie Bush's acts pale in comparison to O.J.'s, O.J. did not violate NCAA rules (about every other rule, though). As much as I might not like it, it is a distinction I have to live with.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      The difference is that OJ did not do anything to compromise his eligibility and therefore was eligible to win the award. Reggie Bush took copies of the rules designed to ensure his continued eligibility and wiped his rear end with them. He was not eligible to win the award. Period.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    In a way it's a shame because on the field he did everything to earn winning that trophy. Off the field actions cost him the trophy, but rules are rules I guess.

    September 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TTommy

    Give it to Obama. He deserves the Heisman as much as his Nobel Peace Prize.

    September 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      TTommy – I think you are confused. This is not the right wing d-bag forum. Try Faux News.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TTommy

      Already been to Fox News today. To get the other side of the story. You might want to try it too. Broaden your horizons a little ... or not.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      You mean the completely fabricated side? Not sure how you are broadening yourself...

      September 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joel

    As for the OJ argument - it's about what happened when you were in college, not about what idiocy you engaged in afterward. If OJ had interacted with an agent, taken under-the-table payments, etc., while at USC then, sure strip him of the award. But after college? C'mon. That's like taking away a HS valedictorian award from a person who commits a felony when they are 50 years old.

    Now for Bush - I think it's fairly well-proven that he broke the rules in a major way, WHILE IN COLLEGE and on scholarship. I think it's cut-and-dried that he should be stripped of the Heisman. Publicly apologize? I don't think that will ever happen, nor will any kind of acknowledgment from Pete Carroll. Speaking of Carroll, I wonder how long it will take him to screw up the Seahawks? He seems to already have a good start on that one.

    September 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. OldMo

    I think we can all agree that Obama deserves that Heisman. Better yet, they should rename it the Obama Trophy and go back and name him the winner from the year before College Football even started all the way to infinity. I doubt they will though cuz of racism n' stuff.

    September 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ATMoore


      September 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Wyatt

    The media keeps going after Bush....I did not know that GW won the Heisman...Will Obama have to give back the Nobel Prize...he has taken more money than Reggie...

    September 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dee

    Five years is a little late

    September 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Wyatt

    Dumb me....Obama won the first ever "Heistman Trophy" in a short 20 months...

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