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USC legend Reggie Bush will have 2005 Heisman Trophy returned: report

Former USC football star Reggie Bush’s quest to reclaim his 2005 Heisman Trophy has finally come to a successful end.

The Heisman Trophy Trust plans to announce the formal “reinstatement” of Bush’s trophy, a decision that comes nearly 15 years after Bush voluntarily returned it in 2010 in the wake of the penalties the NCAA levied on the University of Southern California over policy infractions, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” Michael Comerford, president of The Heisman Trophy Trust, told ESPN.  

“We considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years in deciding that now is the right time to reinstate the trophy for Reggie. We are so happy to welcome him back.”

Bush, the winner of the 2005 Heisman Trophy, forfeited the trophy in 2010. A yearslong investigation determined that Bush and his family received benefits from a would-be sports agent who was not affiliated with USC, according to reports. Bush had his Heisman victory vacated, and the games Bush played in at USC in 2005 were also vacated. 

However, the rise in name, image and likeness (NIL) deals motivated Bush’s efforts to reclaim his Heisman Trophy in 2021. 

Reggie Bush in the national championship game


In August, he announced plans to file a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA over a July 2021 statement describing the star’s playing career at USC as a “pay-for-play” arrangement. 

However, Wednesday’s decision highlights the changing landscape in college athletics. According to the report, the Heisman Trophy Trust cited “fundamental changes in college athletics,” which included student athletes being paid as a now “accepted practice.” 

“Personally, I’m thrilled to reunite with my fellow Heisman winners and be a part of the storied legacy of the Heisman Trophy, and I’m honored to return to the Heisman family,” Bush told ESPN. 

Reggie Bush at the Heisman celebration

“I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization.”

Bush has received support from other Heisman Trophy winners over the years. Now, the Heisman Trophy will be returned to Bush and USC will receive a replica. He will also be able to participate in all future ceremonies.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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