Heisman Trophy Trust welcomes back Reggie Bush, reinstates 2005 trophy

Bush’s electric 2005 season was cast in shadow after it was revealed he received improper benefits while playing at USC. But now that student-athletes can be openly paid to play, the Heisman Trophy is celebrating Bush once again.

Fourteen years after giving up the Heisman Trophy, Reggie Bush is finally getting it back. 

Wednesday, the Heisman Trophy Trust announced that the former USC star running back has had his trophy reinstated. 


The backstory: Bush won the 2005 Heisman Trophy after a season that saw him rack up over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 18 touchdowns. 

  • His 2005 season included USC’s close win over Fresno State, where Bush had his best game of the season. Bush ran for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Bulldogs. 
  • While USC went on to lose to Texas in the National Championship, Bush received 784 first-place votes for the Heisman Trophy, the fifth-most in the trophy’s history. 

Driving the news: In 2010 the Heisman Trophy revoked the award from Bush for receiving improper benefits at USC. 

  • But three years ago the Supreme Court opened the door for name, image and likeness (NIL) rights for college athletes, leading the Heisman Trophy Trust to acknowledge that compensating student-athletes is now a publicly accepted practice. 
  • Bush will be given the original trophy back while USC will be given a replica to display alongside the university’s other Heisman winners. 

What they’re saying: “We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” said Michael Comerford, President of The Heisman Trophy Trust. “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.”

  • “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 said in a statement to ESPN. “I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization.”
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