NFL star Reggie Bush will give his 2005 Heisman trophy back, according to a statement released via his team website, NewOrleansSaints.com.
The 25-year-old former University of Southern California star explained why he decided to forfeit the trophy after facing much pressure of having it stripped from him by the Heisman Trust (trophy selection committee).
“One of the greatest honors of my life was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005,” the statement reads. “For me, it was a dream come true. But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. 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.”
USC was hit hard by sanctions after the NCAA learned that Bush had violated student athlete policies by taking improper benefits during his tenure with the Trojan football team. Bush was scheduled to meet with the Heisman Trust Sept. 14. He did not mention in his released statement whether or not his meeting influenced the decision to hand over the Heisman, but he did explain how he plans to use future actions to display the honor and integrity expected of someone in his fortunate position.
“For the rest of my days, I will continue to strive to demonstrate through my actions and words that I was deserving of the confidence placed in me by the Heisman Trophy Trust,” Bush stated. “I would like to begin in this effort by turning a negative situation into a positive one by working with the Trustees to establish an educational program which will assist student-athletes and their families avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I am determined to view this event as an opportunity to help others and to advance the values and mission of the Heisman Trophy Trust.”
Fellow NFL star and 2005 Heisman runner-up Vince Young was asked Monday during an ESPN interview how he felt about his former coach at University of Texas, Mack Brown, telling reporters that Young should be awarded the Heisman, now.
“I definitely want it…” said Young, who led Texas to victory against USC in the 2005 championship.”But he won it fair and square, definitely, and it’s much respect to Reggie, man. He had a great career and he’s already won a Super Bowl before me. I’m already mad about that.
“But at the same time I am definitely happy for him, man, and he is definitely the Heisman Trophy winner for that year. But if they send it over to me I am not going to say no to it.”