Reggie Bush fights to get Heisman Trophy back, college record reinstated

"I never cheated this game," former NFL player Reggie Bush tweeted after releasing a detailed statement. "That was what they wanted you to believe about me."

Just days after the NCAA ruled that college student-athletes can profit from their names, images and likenesses, former University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush announced he is pushing to have the Heisman Trophy he forfeited returned and his college stats reinstated. 

The NCAA stripped USC of its 2004 national football title and vacated 14 of its victories from 2004 and 2005 after an investigation found that Bush received improper financial benefits; he gave back the ’05 Heisman he’d won. Under the new ruling, his actions would not have warranted those punishments. 

The NCAA stripped USC of its 2004 national football title and vacated 14 of its victories from 2004 and 2005 after an investigation found that running back Reggie Bush (above) received improper financial benefits. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

“It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field,” Reggie Bush wrote Thursday in a statement, “and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated.” 

“We left multiple messages for Michael Comerford, the President of the Heisman Trust,” he continued, “but instead received a call from Rob Whalen, the Executive Director, who stated that Mr. Comerford would not be calling us back and that, in any event, they could not help us.”

Later, Bush tweeted, “I never cheated this game. That was what they wanted you to believe about me.” 

The former NFLer found widespread reassurance from others in athletic circles. Quarterback Johnny Manziel tweeted his support, writing on Twitter, “Give Reggie Bush his Heisman back while we’re at it.”

“Hey NCAA: since you have now admitted that college athletes are professional, how about righting past wrongs and reinstating the records of Reggie Bush, the Fab Five, and countless others you mistreated over the phony concept of amateurism?” sports journalist Jay Bilas wondered. “It was unfair then, and clearly so now.” 

Others also referenced the Fab Five of the University of Michigan, who were also stripped of their wins due to improper benefits.

ESPN posed a question to viewers about the cover of the NCAA Football video game, which hasn’t been published since 2014, asking them: “With every NCAA athlete in the country able to make money from endorsements, who should grace the cover if the game comes back?” 

Many fans said it should be Reggie Bush. 

EA Sports released a statement about the NCAA NIL decision.

“We are watching the recent developments regarding student-athlete name, image and likeness very closely,” officials contend. “It’s still very early stages at this point, and we plan to explore the possibility of including players in EA SPORTS College Football. For now, our development team is focused on working with our partners at CLC to ensure the game authentically showcases the great sport of college football and the more than 100 institutions signed on to be featured in our game.”

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