By: Tadi Abedje
With the NCAA changing the rule allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness, Bush decided to take it a step further by requesting to have his Heisman Trophy back. He won the award in 2005 after his stellar junior year when he rushed for 1,740 yards on 8.7 yards per carry and scored 19 total touchdowns (running, receiving and punt return).
However, a four-year NCAA investigation took place after Bush and his family were receiving cash, travel expenses and a house in his native home of San Diego, California. As a result, the NCAA announced sanctions in 2010 against USC by vacating their 2004 BCS national championship, all their wins in 2005 season, a two-year postseason ban and a loss of 30 scholarships. Bush gave up his Heisman Trophy and was banned from the school for 10 years until 2020.
He and his team reached out to the NCAA and the Heisman Trust regarding his Heisman Trophy and collegiate records.
“We reached out to the NCAA on multiple occasions and received no help or got no response at all,” Bush said in a statement on Twitter. “It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman trophy “solely” due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated.”
The all-purpose back was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the second overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He was a First Team All-Pro selection and won a Super Bowl title with the Saints. Then, Bush played with the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills before retiring after the 2016 season.