Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy back

USA TODAY Sports

As of early 2006, the NCAA still had plenty of fans and media brainwashed about the sanctity of a system that exploits athletes. In the 14 years since then, plenty of people have embraced the notion that it’s flat-out wrong to take advantage of the skills and abilities of young football players, giving them something far less than fair value in return for their efforts and sacrifices.

In the days when hackneyed notions of amateurism still mattered, USC running back Reggie Bush found himself in the midst of a controversy based on his parents receiving free rent from a group that hoped to represent Bush. The scandal caused the Texans not to take Bush with the first pick in the 2006 draft (the Saints pounced at No. 2 that year), and it resulted in the NCAA eventually stripping USC of a national title and taking back a Heisman Trophy that Bush had rightfully earned.

Bush recently addressed the award the NCAA took from him during an appearance on Cold As Balls from Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud.

“I 1,000 percent want my damn Heisman Trophy back,” Bush told Hart. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it back. But to me the silver lining is, I believe what happened with me had to happen so we could get here in 2020.”

Bush should get his Heisman back. He never should have had to give it up. “Rules are rules” nonsense has allowed the NCAA to maintain an inherently corrupt system. Even though that inherently corrupt system has yet to show significant signs of making the dramatic changes that become more overdue with each passing day, the rest of the world now views issues of amateurism and revenue generation far differently than ever before.

Hopefully, more and more changes will come for the NCAA. Hopefully, players eventually will get properly compensated for the massive amounts of money they generate.

Until then, our message to all college athletes is this: Get what you can, when you can, while you can. It’s only “wrong” in the eyes of those who would deny you what you deserve.

23 responses to “Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy back

  1. He never should have sent it back to them in the first place. What were they going to do to him if he didn’t?

  2. Think about all the people that were sent to prison for marijuana. Ruining families. Reggie should get his trophy back, but his life wasn’t stolen.

  3. I never understood this decision. This was the thing the NCAA cracked down in that time period? Please. Bush was the best player regardless if his parents got free rent. Give him back his earned award and clean it up NCAA.

  4. I never liked the whole “We are going to rewrite the history you saw with your own eyes” process. The teams and players still achieved what they achieved. (Except, PED users, I guess.) It smacks too much of “1984”, the Ministry of Truth, and tossing things down the memory hole.

  5. Heisman or not his pro career was very disappointing. Had the talent to be great but didnt want to run between the tackles.
    I blame the Kardashians … haha

  6. It’s like the Olympics, if you cheat, break the rules, you lose the title and trophy. Because Bush took money from sleezy sports agents, he lost the Heisman. The real tradgety is that USC forfeited every game Bush played in for about two years, including their national collegiate championship. For most of Bush’s teammates there would be no NFL glory. That perfect season culminating in a national title was the Pinnacle of their football careers. And Reggie Bush took that away from them. The title has been vacated,the trophy returned. The central display proudly exhibiting that perfect season with pictures, trophy and memorabilia was removed and is now an empty space. That perfect season erased and USC is officially 0-12 for that season. USC was given the Death Penalty. All athletic scholarships, including then current ones were cancelled for two years. Kids who might have gone to a college they could not afford was denied the chance because of Reggie Bush. The Athletic Director was fired, ending his career. Pete Carroll would have been had he not decamped to the NFL in time to bear the fallout. Reggie Bush screwed his coach, his school, his team and teammates. Then he waltzed off to the NFL collecting his signing bonus leaving everyone else to clean up his mess, all the while declaring himself the victim.

  7. If Bush wanted to keep his Heisman he should have repaid his “agent”, like he was asked to, before all of his dirty laundry was aired out in court before Bush settled out of court.

  8. EXPLOITS? FREE tution, FREE books, FREE room and board, FREE meals, FREE health care with a $0 deductible, FREE tutors doing all their work and taking tests for them, FREE coaching making them better players and getting them ready for the NFL and a FREE deplomia(if they elect to get it(put in the 4 full years which not many do), all of that has to be well over $300K for the bigger and more expensive schools and that is exploiting them?

    GIMME’ A BREAK! I’d agree to them getting paid when the first thing to come out of that pay is paying all of that money back to the schools. The colleges take a chance on these players and the players signed the contract so it’s the college’s that are taking the blunt of the risk, I believe it’s a hell of a lot more than most people can imagine but you have to be able to see the whole picture and not have tunnel vision like those that want these players to be paid, well they are getting paid and 80% probably better than their mom and dad make!

  9. “Rules are rules” nonsense has allowed the NCAA to maintain an inherently corrupt system.

    Rules are in place for a reason. To ensure fairness and a level playing field. How can you say to one young man that he was beaten out for a trophy by someone who cheated and it’s too bad. How is that fair?

  10. If they’re going to make money off the college, then they should have to pay for their education like everyone else.

  11. Seems he broke the rules. A fair argument could made if he had gone to another school that didn’t or couldn’t compensate his family Like USC, he wouldn’t have had the success he had and wouldn’t have gotten the trophy at all.

    Incredible talent. Crap situation. Everyone knows and will always know he won it, legit or not.

    He made a decision that dramatically affected his viability as a player and he reaped the rewards at the time.

    But he tainted the award and doesn’t deserve it back.

  12. The NCAA decision to vacate the win suggests that Bush had an unfair advantage because he was able to focus on football instead of worrying about whether or not his parents could afford a place to live.
    I get punishing schools who cheat the system to enhance recruitment. But punishing a kid because people around him are accepting what’s being offered to them is counterproductive.

  13. Poor guy and his family made hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally. Now he wants his stuff back. Poor guy.

  14. oldgrouch says:
    November 18, 2020 at 9:15 pm
    It’s like the Olympics, if you cheat, break the rules, you lose the title and trophy. Because Bush took money from sleezy sports agents, he lost the Heisman. The real tradgety is that USC forfeited every game Bush played in for about two years, including their national collegiate championship. For most of Bush’s teammates there would be no NFL glory. That perfect season culminating in a national title was the Pinnacle of their football careers. And Reggie Bush took that away from them. The title has been vacated,the trophy returned. The central display proudly exhibiting that perfect season with pictures, trophy and memorabilia was removed and is now an empty space. That perfect season erased and USC is officially 0-12 for that season. USC was given the Death Penalty. All athletic scholarships, including then current ones were cancelled for two years. Kids who might have gone to a college they could not afford was denied the chance because of Reggie Bush. The Athletic Director was fired, ending his career. Pete Carroll would have been had he not decamped to the NFL in time to bear the fallout. Reggie Bush screwed his coach, his school, his team and teammates. Then he waltzed off to the NFL collecting his signing bonus leaving everyone else to clean up his mess, all the while declaring himself the victim.
    __________________________________

    USC was never given the “Death Penalty” which would have meant that they were not allowed to play games for at least two years which of course never happened. The only program ever given this penalty was SMU in the late 80’s. They were given a reduction of scholarships for two years and no existing scholarships were ever cancelled.

  15. Everyone talks about how the players get so much to go to college and play football. It’s not a one-way street though. The schools gets millions of dollars from the NCAA, television rights and gameday revenue.

    I’m a University of Florida fan and it’s $40 for one ticket to sit at the very top of the stadium. How is college football not considered a business?

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