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. philipe12

    AlL sports fans should be required to read "The Fix is In" before watching sports. That way when things like these occur we won't have to wade thru all of these posters who act as if this stuff is rare.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. philipe12

    Dude, African tribal leaders' greed led them to sell their own people into slavery. Most were sold to Muslim nations where they were forced to become Muslim under threat of death, explaining how it came about that so many black people are Muslims.

    September 15, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. David

    What does him taking money/gifts have to do with his ON FIELD ACCOMPLISHMENTS?? Nothing. That is why he won the Heisman.

    Stripping him of it is assinine. We are talking about a KID who took some gifs. A kid. Their judgement is not good, in case any of you adults do not realize this.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Leah (TXanimal)

    I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank...

    September 15, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    Reggie was hands down the best player in the ncaa every saturday on the field. will always be the 05 heisman trophy winner in my eyes.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Geoff

    He was unethical, but he never cheated. The yards, broken tackles, touchdowns, and other stats are going to be the same than if he said no.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kambui

    College ballplayers should be paid. They are only recruited to help colleges win games. If winning was not the so important, why are losing coaches fired. It's all about money. College athletes are glorified modern day slaves, they make millions for their schools,but cannot enjoy the benefits of their talents. What percent of them actually turn pro? Colleges should break away from the NCAA and form their own league. Pay the athletes for their talents and let them pay for their own education.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimbo

    Reggie should not have to give back his Heismam Trophy. He won the trophy based on his PERFORMANCE, not whether or not he got gifts, money or whatever. He did not cheat. He did not take performance enhancing drugs. He won the trophy fair and square.

    September 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris Ross

    To be honest I don't think that Bush giving up the Heisman is all that big a deal. The thing is that you can't take away the fact that he still did all those great things. It wasn't steroids it was something else, not specified which to be isn't a big deal in the big picture.

    September 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. michael robertson

    The reggie bush situation is another example of scapegoatting. How many times have coaches, Pitino , Huggins , Pete Carrol ,etc. (that's right I'm calling u out!) ruined by breaking NCAA rules, The teams ,players, get punished, Yet the coaches go on to coach other teams with little or no punishment at all ! Pete Carrol was called a great coach , isn't it a little that he suddenly "finds" a coaching position in the NFL, Then shortly after , His team USC is "hit" with all these infractions ? Let's not kid ourselves Pete Carrol is a liar and a cheater ! He snuck out the back door and left Reggie, and the rest of the team to take the bame. Huggins, Carrol , Pitino, And the former U-Mass coach , (u n who u r ) U r n different than any other cheater !

    September 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
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