Former USC Trojans running back Reggie Bush remains one of the all-time best college running backs.
Bush’s best moments against Fresno State are still some of the highly viewed on YouTube, particularly for today’s generation of current stars who were too young to have watched it play.
However, he is also remembered for having his 2005 Heisman Trophy taken away by the NCAA several years ago without any indication that it is close to being returned to its lawful owner.
Bush never made any substantial mention of his Heisman and what led the Heisman Trust to take it way, but he recently spoke about it in an interview on the podcast I Am Athlete.
“At the period, I didn’t want to give it back; I was forced to give it back because of the Heisman trust. So here’s the thing, I interviewed with one guy from the NCAA, and that was it. The Heisman trust and the NCAA are two separate businesses. They don’t work together, but I never interviewed with the Heisman trust. We had a conference call, and based on, you know, some information that was given that they got through the NCAA,” said Bush.
Here is the thing: when they came back, they said they would strip me of the Heisman Trophy regardless. At that time, I was like, why would I keep a pointless trophy, something that has no value to it.”
Bush added, “Heisman Trophy back, ” which was a spiritual feeling. Bro, I have, to be honest, more of a spiritual feeling that I had on the inside; it was a let go and let God moment. Because the human side of me was like f y’all I’m not giving this back all right as you said, I won this.”
The Super Bowl Champion would later detail from his prospective the major piece in the NCAA case for giving USC sanctions for the football team.
“The issue is that the NCAA didn’t do their homework, which led to a bunch of lies, bro. Just a bunch of lies, and so most recently, T-Mac [Tom McNair] was my running back coach at USC, and when T-Mac won the lawsuit, [the NCAA had to pay him] $8 million.”
“If you guys remember, last year, the NCAA released a statement saying that they weren’t going to go back and visit or revisit any cases, and then they added a tag at the end at the bottom paid-for-play. Insinuating I was paid to play, which was when that statement was released, but they had just settled this case—the defamation of character loss which is their biggest length to penalizing us [USC].”
He would say that if he gets his Heisman back, he will show it to his kids, but he has already won the award and given his acceptance speech.