Yes, Reggie Bush should get his Heisman Trophy back

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When Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy taken away for receiving benefits while playing college football from agents who wanted to eventually represent him, the trophy never was re-awarded. That should make it easy to give it back to him.

Now that the floodgates for getting paid by would-be agents have finally flown open, Bush should definitely get his Heisman Trophy back.

Bush said last November that it should be returned. We agreed then, and agree even more strongly now.

In a statement issued Thursday, Bush said that he and his team have reached out on multiple occasions to the Heisman Trust regarding the return of the Heisman Trophy, and that the NCAA also has been contacted about the reinstatement of his college records.

His efforts have gone nowhere. Bush said he was ignored by the NCAA, and that the Heisman Trust said that “they could not help us.”

“It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman Trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated,” Bush said.

He’s absolutely right. The action taken against Bush flowed directly from the phony notion of amateurism that has justified, for decades, not sharing billions in revenues with players. That wall has now imploded, at least as it relates to money made separate and apart from the relationship with the university.

So do the right thing, NCAA. It will help atone (albeit slightly) for all those years of doing the wrong thing.

65 responses to “Yes, Reggie Bush should get his Heisman Trophy back

  1. Wrong, he cheated, those were the rules, just cause the rules change doesn’t mean anything. The moral is, follow the rules if you want the games rewards. Cheat, and be penalized.

  2. I mean are we gonna go back and award the Raiders a win in the AFCCG vs Pats in the snow game cause the NFL finally realized how dumb the tuck rule was and removed it?

    He broke rules that were in place at the time, however much we don’t agree with said rules back then. Sorry Reggie.

  3. I respect your opinion but I disagree. Despite being a Notre Dame grad, I really like Reggie Bush. That being said, rules should still apply to their times, unless they are absurd. The rules at the time were not absurd. The rules are more just now, but we must let the past be. This is the way.

  4. Why does a sizable percentage of people in this country want no consequences for poor decisions? He broke the rules that existed at the time. I just don’t get it.

  5. Yes and award USC the 2004 national championship that was wrongfully taken from them.

  6. No he shouldn’t. If I get 3 speeding tickets for going 10 over and a month later they raise the speed limit by 10 should I get my fines and points back?

  7. Sorry, no.

    And yes, the SEC does the same thing that Bush was punished for (but we know they are corrupt – think Cam Newton relatives job). We get that. But at the time in 2005, Reggie and USC violated the rules. Was he the best player in football that year, yes – I watched him play in the LA Coliseum with my very own eyes that year. But the Heisman doesn’t always pick the best player for their award (think 2015 – Christian McCaffrey should have won if the east coast voters stayed up to watch his games). The Heisman Trust can do what ever they want. If they are looking to award the trophy to the “amateur” athletes (as they do with college and high school) then Bush is out. Why not extend the award to the professionals in the NFL then? While they vacated Bush’s award and removed him from their list of winners, they still list the murderer, OJ Simpson, amongst it’s winners (so apparently character doesn’t matter).

  8. Nah. Those were the rules, he broke the rules.

    As for the “phony” notion of amateurism – I think we’re going to see this avalanche of money ruin things, as it always eventually does. We’ll have millionaires strutting around campus while most other students are going into debt. We’ll have even more emphasis on athletic programs to the detriment of everything else.

    Greed ruins everything. Without some kinds of ideals or aspirations, all these institutions mean nothing.

  9. I like Bush, and really don’t have a moral objection to his extra benefits because it happens in every big program. But there were rules at the time and he broke them. Worst of all got caught.

  10. It’s kind of like the Dez Bryant catch. Just cuz the rules change doesn’t mean it should change the outcome.

  11. Love Reggie, but he did break the rules. Give it 5 years and hell get the trophy with enough pressure.

  12. Bush violated the rules when the rules were in play.

    He should NOT get his trophy back.

  13. Good to see Pete Carroll vindicated. Greatest college/pro coach of all time and he was playing it right the whole time. Gratz coach!

  14. I don’t know. On any hand I understand. But on the other, he kno singly violated the rules. Even if those rules have changed. He knowingly violated them at the time of the violation. If they change the speed limit on a roadway from 55 mpg to 65 mph, should they take all the people who received speeding tickets (for going 65 in a 55) and give them their fine money back??? Of course not.

  15. IReggie Bush’s trophy should NOT be reinstated. Regardless of is was a dumb rule at the time and no longer a rule now, at the time what Reggie Bush did was in violation of the rules. If baseball were to change its rules on gambling, do you put Pete Rose in the HOF?

  16. Agree with Florio 100%. The wealthy hypocrites at the NCAA & Heisman Trust should give the man back what he earned while paying their salaries by his work on the field.

  17. While he did break rules that were in place at the time, that shouldn’t taint his on-field production. The Heisman is awarded to the most outstanding player every season and Reggie definitely was that.

  18. No, he shouldn’t. He broke the rules that were present when he played, and in fact there were obvious payoffs that were not pursued. Ignoring his play for pay is a slap in the face to every athlete who obeyed the rules, and every school that followed them.
    Revisionist history is always fraudulant.

  19. Yeah, and a bunch of NCAA people should probably give some salary back to colleges – talk about gross monopoly on the market. Lot of nice houses in Indiana built on the back of students and colleges

  20. Exactly why Kansas University basketball will not be penalized by the NCAA slum lords.

  21. He should have never given it back. If any player ever deserved a Heisman, it’s Reggie Bush. I loathe USC, but that dude put on a show his entire NCAA career.

  22. @dejadoh,

    I believe the logic the Heisman Trust used with OJ was that his “legal issues” were far removed from his his football days so he is still listed. Bush’s were ongoing while he was a collegiate athlete so that made him not eligible.

    While the OJ logic is weird, I agree no way Reggie should get his trophy back. He broke the rules in place at the time so he should be punished by the rules at that time especially when we are talking about an award of all things. If he had been sent to prison or something, I would most likely feel different-but this is an award.

  23. dejadoh says:

    And yes, the SEC does the same thing that Bush was punished for (but we know they are corrupt – think Cam Newton relatives job).

    they still list the murderer, OJ Simpson, amongst it’s winners (so apparently character doesn’t matter).
    ————————————-
    Cam was investigated by the NCAA, FBI and IRS, and no charges were ever filed. I think that says it all.

    OJ didn’t murder Nicole while he was playing for USC, so there’s no reason for taking away the Heisman for something he did after college.

  24. This wasn’t some moral cause he was fighting…it was plain greed. He got the glory at the time, he got the draft status for the nfl that made him millions and millions. Shoot, if he hasn’t been smart enough to have a replica made…that’s on him. Petty crying now…again this isn’t a social moral cause…so let’s not make it one.

  25. Not only should he not get it back because the rules are the rules (something this site argues when it suits their purpose) but he shouldn’t get it back because he never should have got it to begin with.
    We all saw the best player in college football in 2005 and that player was Vince Young. If Bush had any integrity he should have walked that Heisman over to Young immediately after the national championship game. The only reason that Young didn’t win it to begin with is the LA voters were so enamored with USC they never truly looked at what Texas and Vince Young were doing that year

  26. Memo to all the “He cheated! He doesn’t deserve it back!” moralizers: Get off your soap box and go read the actual facts of his case.

    He was not paid any inducement to attend USC. None of the benefits he was given impacted the outcome of any game in which he played. The benefits he got were actually given to his family to secure representation when he would eventually become a pro. Nothing about this case had anything to do with the field of play.

    And also, if I’m not mistaken, when we change or repeal laws in this country under which people have been previously incarcerated, the justice system typically moves to get those people people out of prison “in the interest of justice”.

    Why isn’t Reggie Bush afforded the same accommodations?

    I watched Reggie Bush that year and I know what I saw when I saw it: That dude was the best player in college football and the gap between him and the next best player was laughably enormous. The greedy, rich, fat, old white men who run the NCAA can’t tell me otherwise.

  27. He probably should get it back but the NCAA can’t give it back. At least not because of the reasons written here. It would open a huge can of worms. Think about how SMU got crushed. The NCAA has neither the ability or the desire to repair everyone harmed financially because that punishment. Nah, it can’t happen.

  28. I think anyone who got paid by the NCAA while they demanded their employees work for free belongs in jail

    But that is a separate issue from the notion of on-field fairness. Bush was able to dedicate more resources to his athletic performance because he had resources other athletes didn’t. It’s a competitive advantage he got by breaking the rules. No trophy.

  29. No, he shouldn’t he broke the rules and paid the price for it. Sorry Reggie

  30. This situation has nothing to with a change in the rules, or really whether past violations should continue to be enforced. The issue is that Bush and his entire family blatantly flaunted the rules and also repeatedly lied about their financial situation.

    Bush`s family knowingly received a new house from agents hoping to represent him as a professional. In total Bush and his family received $291,600 in cash and gifts from those agents. The Bush family tried to justify this by claiming that they were poor when, in fact, his mother had a good job and the family was not suffering financially in any way.

    Bush has never acknowledged that accepting the cash and gifts constituted any wrongdoing. He has never apologized for his role in causing USC to suffer some of the harshest sanctions ever leveled by the NCAA. His conduct would be against the rules even if NIL had existed during his college career.

  31. He didn’t deserve the Heisman to be with. Vince was the greatest college player that year.

  32. Olyhawkguy says:
    July 1, 2021 at 10:39 pm
    Good to see Pete Carroll vindicated. Greatest college/pro coach of all time and he was playing it right the whole time. Gratz coach!
    _____________

    Pete turned the USC practices into circuses, with multiple celebrities attending on a daily basis. He had full knowledge of what was going on with Bush, as well as other violations. He then skipped town just ahead the sanctions.

    Pete may be a good coach, but he is far from being vindicated of anything.

  33. Granted, Bush broke the rules that were in place at the time. However, the people who established those rules were as corrupt as it gets. As a result, why should those rules be respected. I have more respect for what Bush did on the field than I do for those disingenuous money grubbers who were overseeing college football. Give Bush the Heisman.

  34. He and his family were taking money from agents. He wasn’t doing commercials or signing autographs for bags of cash. That was wrong then and still illegal today, I believe?

  35. aaaahh says:

    July 2, 2021 at 4:20 am

    I think anyone who got paid by the NCAA while they demanded their employees work for free belongs in jail
    ———-
    I think your an idiot. Would you like to also send every person/company that has ever had an unpaid intern to jail as well? It just was the cost of getting in the business, whether you agree or not nothing was against the law or criminal. There was no slave labor, the players signed up for it. So how about from now on keep your rhetoric and instead be honest and realistic about situations.

  36. Didn’t USC buy him a house or something? That’s not selling autographs or something similar to what players are allowed to do now. Reggie Bush’s permanent punishments should remain.

    That’s like saying if marijuana becomes federally legal that someone who murdered someone over a marijuana deal should go free.

  37. no, no he shouldn’t. why? because the rule change is NOW and that was THEN and it’s not retroactive.

  38. All-American Voltron says:
    July 2, 2021 at 9:22 am
    Didn’t USC buy him a house or something? That’s not selling autographs or something similar to what players are allowed to do now. Reggie Bush’s permanent punishments should remain.

    That’s like saying if marijuana becomes federally legal that someone who murdered someone over a marijuana deal should go free.

    ————

    Since cannabis became federally legal and not murder, that would make sense, yeah

  39. Sunday Swami says:
    July 2, 2021 at 9:07 am
    aaaahh says:

    July 2, 2021 at 4:20 am

    I think anyone who got paid by the NCAA while they demanded their employees work for free belongs in jail
    ———-
    I think your an idiot. Would you like to also send every person/company that has ever had an unpaid intern to jail as well? It just was the cost of getting in the business, whether you agree or not nothing was against the law or criminal. There was no slave labor, the players signed up for it. So how about from now on keep your rhetoric and instead be honest and realistic about situations.
    ____________

    Unpaid internships are quickly becoming obsolete, as businesses realize that they are not conducive to attracting top notch talent for a permanent position. The most desirable college graduates have a plethora of opportunities these days, and the businesses who retain the unpaid model will have a very difficult time attracting the best and the brightest.

    Students in the past agreed to unpaid internships because that was the only alternative, just as athletes had no alternatives other than the college’s ridiculous model. The lack of choice did not make either system right.

  40. I’m not sure why people think the Heisman has much if anything to do with the NCAA. It is awarded by the Heisman Trust, and thus if that organization wants to consider the 2005 award vacated, then so be it. It’s also worth noting that Reggie Bush voluntarily returned the trophy, I imagine that the Heisman Trust would have not had much of a legal recourse in trying to get it back if Bush had wanted to keep it, at that point it was his property.

  41. “It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman Trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated,” Bush said.

    Or was it you won it due to being surrounded by a great team, with a great offensive line and multiple options on offense that the opposing team had to account for as well? Also, a great defense and a great return game that put the offense in great a position many, many times? All this on a team that may not have had all of those great players if they hadn’t been cheating? Would you have had those same records if you had played for San Jose State? Or even that school across town?

  42. If OJ can keep his statue and his stats I don’t think they have any credibility as far as integrity goes.

  43. The NCAA is a joke! Why would Bush want to be honored by a corrupt organization??

  44. Seems the trophy is the property of the Downtown Athletic Club in NYC, not the NCAA. Let them decide. But don’t think for a minute he didn’t know the rules and that he cheated. The thing I’ve never quite figured out in all this (same with Chris Webber in taking the $289k), were they ever charged with income tax evasion or did they settle? They obviously cheated the US taxpayer (uh, that’s all of us) if they didn’t report all their income. Hit him with 15 years of penalties and interest if its due, have him pay it, then give him trophy. Nothing wrong with paying a debt to society, as it were.

  45. I think it was documented by Dan Wetzel (or perhaps someone else) that Reggie Bush’s benefits were $400k or greater, but someone else can put a number on it (his parents living at least 18 months rent free in a house was one of the bigger tax dodges).

  46. I’m a believer that the punishment should fit the crime. Did he break the rules? Yes, absolutely. And there should’ve been punishment for that. Whether it be fines, suspension, paying back the money, etc. But since the crime had no bearing on his performance on the field, I do not believe he should’ve ever been stripped of an award that he won based solely on performance. That was my opinion then and it’s still my opinion today.

    I do think he should receive his Heisman, but not because of the imminent rule change. But because, in my opinion, it should’ve never been taken from him in the first place.

  47. What about all those NCAA basketball championships UCLA won only to find out later that players were being paid? They should have been revoked.

  48. For all those saying that he shouldn’t get his trophy back just because the rules have now changed are wrong. The rules were not “changed”, they were declared to be illegal. They were also illegal in 2005. The fact that no one challenged the rules back then doesnt change the fact.

  49. That’s not how rules work. Leave it to someone so unathletic to promote such a rat tactic. He achieved his success on an unlevel playing field by breaking the rules. He doesn’t deserve a trophy. He rightly lost his. End of story.

  50. People crying about this are kind of missing the fact that the rules on what Bush did and got haven’t changed. At all. It’s as much a violation now as it was then. He wasn’t getting sponsorship money, endorsements, or anything related to his likeness. He was getting paid flat out.

  51. My humble opinion…he did break the rule, not even just sold likeness, he took cash for nothing. I also think he should have the trophy back because taking it away after he won it is dumb. He won it, we all know he won it, it’s his.

  52. Southpaw says:
    July 2, 2021 at 12:35 pm
    That’s not how rules work. Leave it to someone so unathletic to promote such a rat tactic. He achieved his success on an unlevel playing field by breaking the rules. He doesn’t deserve a trophy. He rightly lost his. End of story.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    This argument is so flawed. Your position that he should not have the trophy can be justified, but to say he won it on an uneven playing field? He was the best college football player that year. No doubt about it. His acceptance of money did not somehow give him an advantage on the field.

  53. gibson45 says:

    July 2, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Sunday Swami says:
    July 2, 2021 at 9:07 am
    aaaahh says:

    July 2, 2021 at 4:20 am

    I think anyone who got paid by the NCAA while they demanded their employees work for free belongs in jail
    ———-
    I think your an idiot. Would you like to also send every person/company that has ever had an unpaid intern to jail as well? It just was the cost of getting in the business, whether you agree or not nothing was against the law or criminal. There was no slave labor, the players signed up for it. So how about from now on keep your rhetoric and instead be honest and realistic about situations.
    ____________

    Unpaid internships are quickly becoming obsolete, as businesses realize that they are not conducive to attracting top notch talent for a permanent position. The most desirable college graduates have a plethora of opportunities these days, and the businesses who retain the unpaid model will have a very difficult time attracting the best and the brightest.

    Students in the past agreed to unpaid internships because that was the only alternative, just as athletes had no alternatives other than the college’s ridiculous model. The lack of choice did not make either system right.

    —————-
    1st off I never said the system was right just that the OP is an idiot for saying people who were paid NCAA employees should go to jail. I get you try to stir up race and politics in all of your posts as you troll gibson45 but you should really try reading comprehension. Also if you think unpaid internships are going away your absolutely crazy. Turn on the fm radio and almost every station is owned by 1 of 2 companies which both use unpaid interns, in television behind the scenes it’s the same thing. Entertainment industry in general will never go away from unpaid interns and I repeat if you think the people getting paid legally and doing their job should go to jail because you dont agree well your an idiot too.

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