Despite rule changes that went into effect earlier in July regarding the regulations of college athletes’ names, images, and likenesses, Reggie Bush will not be getting his 2005 Heisman Trophy returned, TMZ reports.
Through a spokesperson, the NCAA stated that it won’t be reversing penalties or previously vacated records, and that the new rules don’t allow for arrangements for schools to pay a player anyway.
“Although college athletes can now receive benefits from their names, images and likenesses through activities like endorsements and appearances, NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements,” said that spokesperson, according to ESPN. “The NCAA infractions process exists to promote fairness in college sports. The rules that govern fair play are voted on, agreed to and expected to be upheld by all NCAA member schools.”
Bush sent out two cryptic tweets on Wednesday.
Bush’s specific Heisman is being reported upon because the Heisman Trust also issued a statement earlier in July in which it said it would be happy to welcome Bush “back to the Heisman family” if the NCAA chose to recognize his 2005 season.
On the same day, it became official for athletes to profit off NIL (which stands for “name, image, likeness”) deals, Bush put out a statement that called for his punishment to be reversed.
The former second overall pick gave up his Heisman in 2010 after it was determined he and his family members received gifts, including: cash, travel expenses, and a San Diego-area home for his parents for more than a year, when he was still a student-athlete at USC.
Other punishments involved Bush being disassociated from the program, a two-year postseason ban for the school, and the loss of 30 scholarships. Also 14 victories, including the 2004 BCS national title game that the Trojans won, were stricken from USC’s record, though the NCAA can’t really erase that season from your memory if you were watching in real-time.
Bush’s 10-year disassociation from the school ended in June 2020.
The struggle to get that Heisman back endures.