NFL star and college football phenom Reggie Bush will soon have to give back the Heisman Trophy he won in 2005, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
According to Yahoo! Sports, two sources close to the Heisman Trophy Trust have confirmed that the organization is finishing up its investigation into Bush, an investigation which will prove that the former USC star accepted improper benefits during his tenure at school.
As a violator of the NCAA’s rules and policies, Bush would become ineligible to have received the Heisman during the 2005 season.
But the 25-year-old Super Bowl champ recently told the media that the Heisman Trust has made no official statement regarding the investigation. He reminded reporters before the NFL season opener on September 9 that the trust has denied reports that they will be stripping him of his Heisman and that the investigation is still pending.
“If I’m not mistaken, I believe the Heisman Trust people released a statement saying whatever was yesterday was inaccurate, so that’s where we’re at,” Bush said of Trust executive director Robert Whalen’s statement to the Associated Press that there has been no decision on the status of Bush’s Heisman.
If he does end up losing the award, it will be the first time in its 75-year history that an athlete has had to give it back. USC has already given back its replica of the trophy to the Trust under the orders of university president C.L. Max Nikias.
USC removed all references to Bush after its football program was sanctioned earlier this year for major violations of NCAA policy regarding benefits to athletes. The school lost scholarships and was handed a two-year ban from participating in any Bowl games.
University of Texas football coach Mack Brown suggested that the 2005 Heisman be given to his former star quarterback Vince Young, who was a close runner-up in voting that season. Young dominated Bush’s USC in a stunning upset victory in the national championship game. But Young’s mother, Felicia, told KRIV-TV in Houston that her son isn’t interested in taking such a honor from another player.
“We’re not interested in having no honor and no glory out of somebody else they are trying to tear down, no,” she said, according to ESPN. “I say to Reggie Bush today, you keep your head up.”