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Stiff-armed: USC to return Reggie Bush's Heisman

In a press release announcing the “retirement” of Mike Garrett as athletic director and the naming of Pat Haden as Garrett’s replacement, USC president-elect Max Nikias addressed an issue that’s been the source of much discussion/debate and plenty of controversy over the past few months.

Reggie Bush‘s 2005 Heisman Trophy.  Or, as the case is now that there are new sheriffs in town, Reggie Bush‘s former Heisman Trophy.

Prefacing his remarks in the release by stating that the “Trojan Family honors and respects the USC sporting careers of those persons whose actions did not compromise their athletic programs”, Nikias wrote that he has “instructed the senior vice president for administration to remove athletic jerseys and murals displayed in recognition of O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush by mid-August… from Heritage Hall, the Galen Center and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.”

Then, Nikias’ coup de grâce.

“The university will also return Mr. Bush’s 2005 Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Trophy Trust in August.”

Ouch.  Or, in other words, “I went to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City and all I got was this lousy reproduction.”

The Heisman has been on display at USC’s Heritage Hall since Bush won the award in 2005, but will now be returned to the East Coast as part of Nikias’ initiative to “enhance the compliance department” and “ensure that [student-athletes] are nourished by and beholden to the noblest values of the academy and society.”

Apparently, a former star athlete who allegedly received in the neighborhood of $300,000 in illegal benefits does not fit Nikias’ vision of the new USC athletic department moving forward.  Who knew?

As for the 2005 Heisman Trophy itself, don’t look for it to end up in the trophy case of either Vince Young or the Texas athletic department.  Depending on the actions of the Heisman Trust — if any actions are indeed taken — Bush will either remain as the listed winner of the award for the 2005 season or the trophy will simply be “vacated” for that year.

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33 Responses to “Stiff-armed: USC to return Reggie Bush's Heisman”
  1. Donna says: Jul 20, 2010 4:27 PM

    “announcing the “retirement” of Mike Garrett”
    WHAT?? RETIRE?? Come on anyone with a kindergarden education and knowledge of football knows he is not retiring!! Thats like allowing a politician to resign before they’re removed from office they always end up resurfacing in some other position.
    “instructed the senior vice president for administration to remove athletic jerseys and murals displayed in recognition of O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush by mid-August…”
    Certainly hope whatever extras he and his parents got were worth it. The only legacy that will be remember there will be in his own mind as by their actions USC is trying to distance themselves not only in the past but the future as well. No one will remember his stats in 20 years.

  2. Moonunit says: Jul 20, 2010 4:44 PM

    Thank God.

  3. granadafan says: Jul 20, 2010 5:34 PM

    Bahahahahaha, ya stupid Toejams. Karma is a b*tch.

  4. SonofCalifornia says: Jul 20, 2010 5:38 PM

    Well…U$C degree=kindergarden education…the alums are still denying any wrong doing even thought the athletic department is trying to clean house and move on. Next cheater out is Kiffen.

  5. FratBoyXXX says: Jul 20, 2010 5:44 PM

    This is such a load of Bullshit, that I don’t even know where to start. Mike Garrett’s “retirement” is just another way of USC’s administration saying, “Mike, somebody’s head has to roll here, and you’re it. But don’t worry about it, we’ll let you ‘resign’ so it all looks nice and pretty. Remember, YOU’RE A TROJAN FOR LIFE, just don’t come to anymore Football games, peprallies, or fundraisers anymore.”
    As far as SC giving back the Heisman trophy, I think that’s just plain ridiculous. Unless Reggie Bush took performance-enhancing drugs that season, it doesn’t make any sense to strip away the trophy he rightfully won for the being the best player on the field in 2005. Which he most certainly was. True he did receive an incredible amount of cash and benefits illiegally, but those things are completely separate from the his performance on the field.
    GARBAGE!!!

  6. blitz4848 says: Jul 20, 2010 5:59 PM

    It appears the next move may be to withdraw their appeal and put this all behind them.
    Smarter minds are taking control of both the admin & athletic depts. USC is now taking back control…….could good things be a coming????
    Everything Trojan should be pumped up!!!

  7. WingT says: Jul 20, 2010 5:59 PM

    Kudo’s to the USC President. He is sending a very strong message. The NCAA will like what they are seeing and hearing coming out of USC.
    Returning the Heisman trophy to NY is brilliant – if they want Reggie to have they can ship it back to him but the damn trophy is NOT to be on campus – brilliant !

  8. gs7101 says: Jul 20, 2010 6:01 PM

    Bush and Mayo helped make millions of dollars for USC; now the university is throwing them under the bus. I bet USC won’t consider giving back any of the profits that was generated from those star players!

  9. WingT says: Jul 20, 2010 6:11 PM

    @gs7101
    Reggie Bush cost USC millions and millions of dollars – he knew the rules when he signed his Letter of Intent and then attended the University.

  10. gator_prof says: Jul 20, 2010 6:16 PM

    FratBoyXXX,
    I cannot think of one AD that survived the label of “lack of institutional control” for his program.
    I find it both sad and amusing that you think otherwise.

  11. RebaT. says: Jul 20, 2010 6:28 PM

    Reggie Bush is scum because of two reasons… he’s a pig to do this to the university by taking illegal money and dating a skank like Kim Kardashian. Who hasn’t screwed that? Eww.

  12. Gatorfan1 says: Jul 20, 2010 6:37 PM

    Kiffin & his band of merry men of drunks, women beaters ( Orgeron), and cheaters are NOW officially screwed!!!!

  13. Gravey says: Jul 20, 2010 6:39 PM

    This is obsurd and unrealistic. I think players in college are entitled to receive any gifts whether it’s monetary or in another form. Players bring in a lot of revenue for colleges and universities, especially when athletes are attending. Instead the Coaches, Athletic Directors, President, VP, etc. earn big pay checks and bonuses when they have contributed nothing to the players success other than being there. There needs to be a review of the policy because schools have benefited for entirely too long from great athletes. In most cases, athletes have made not that popular schools a lot more popular than ever before and they should be compensated for it. But instead tuition is being raised, students are accruing a lot of student loan debt, and it’s just not right. But if they send the trophy back it will not mean anything because his name will remain in the books, I guarantee that. It’s amazing how a star can make a school one minute and the next the school begins to degrade and strip them the next minute.

  14. Deb says: Jul 20, 2010 6:48 PM

    @SonofCalifornia …
    Hey, I’m not a USC fan, but come on … a USC degree is hardly the equivalent of a kindergarten education. Keep it on the field.
    @FratBoyXXX …
    If this discussion were about the NFL Hall of Fame, I’d agree with you wholeheartedly because the HoF is solely about performance on the field. But this is the stated mission of the Heisman:
    “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”
    Catch the last two words? Bush failed to pursue excellence with integrity, so the Committee should recall the award. Or they should strike those two words from their mission. It has to be one or the other because they CANNOT leave things as they are now and maintain ANY credibility. However, I agree that the award should not go to anyone else because no one else outplayed him.
    Under the circumstances, I respect USC’s decision to give back the school’s replica.

  15. blitz4848 says: Jul 20, 2010 6:53 PM

    It’s one thing to change policies– it’s a totally different situation to condone rule/law breaking!!!
    No matter whether you believe they should be compensated more in some way or not-the rules were in place and explained to them in every way including using visual aids. Every player knows–some choose to thumb their noses–even worse some start before, during and after.

  16. ballpark_frank says: Jul 20, 2010 7:32 PM

    To blitz4848:
    Dead on the money.
    Mike Garrett needed to go no matter how it was done, why they brought Kiffen back with the NCAA investigation for his actions at Tennessee is the very least questionable. And why Reggie’s running backs coach was allowed to stay after the NCAA report identified him as out right lying to them (if is still there, I haven’t heard of his departure), that’s another one that should be long gone.

  17. Henador says: Jul 20, 2010 8:13 PM

    Reggie will follow in O.J.’s footsteps. He will wind up in prison.

  18. Wingnet says: Jul 20, 2010 8:22 PM

    What happened to the heisman trophy of the “Other” OJ?

  19. w2lucky says: Jul 20, 2010 8:54 PM

    OJ sold it, then tried to get it back at gunpoint, but it was an undercover cop, so he got caught. No???? Oops, thought I had it. lol.

  20. piccolo says: Jul 20, 2010 9:11 PM

    @ RebaT: “Reggie Bush is scum because of two reasons… he’s a pig to do this to the university by taking illegal money and dating a skank like Kim Kardashian. Who hasn’t screwed that? Eww.”
    I haven’t screwed her. Have you??? :D

  21. BIGBRUCE11047 says: Jul 20, 2010 10:59 PM

    As far as Reggie Bush and the 2005 Heisman Trophy. As far as I’m concerned, taking illegal money from some stupid alum doesn’t mean that he still wasn’t College Football’s Best Player that year. He was one hell of a running back and he led college football in all-purpose yards that year.

  22. lemonella says: Jul 21, 2010 12:03 AM

    Ditto. Probably pissed b/c he or she has not had a chance to get close to KK>

  23. lemonella says: Jul 21, 2010 12:05 AM

    Heanador: One man is nothing like the other. Oj is Oj and Bush is Bush, they are not brothers, twins, related to each other. So, your statement is really stupid. By the way do you have an cheaters in your family.

  24. jaden says: Jul 21, 2010 4:44 AM

    The point behind players not taking gifts/prizes/salary while they’re in college is that it is supposed to be amateur athletics. The same is true for every sport governed by the NCAA. I ran distance for several years, and I wasn’t allowed to collect a pair of shoes as a prize for winning an organized run at a summer festival. That’s just the way it is.
    Imagine if NFL players were lured back to the college ranks by the promise of 300k from a booster. You’re an amateur until you receive payment for playing/participating in the sport. It prevents the Pros from taking over the game.
    As for Reggie Bush…he signed the same national letter of intent that we all signed. He agreed to the same terms to which we all agreed. Not nearly enough of the fallout from this is landing on the most guilty culprit. That’s a shame.

  25. Cornerdenizen says: Jul 21, 2010 8:57 AM

    I have but one question for the good folks at USC : if your returning Bush’s Heisman trophy is an admission of wrongdoing and a symbol of your contrition, then will you also return the millions of dollars you accepted while playing in all of those BCS Bowl games?
    ……silence…..

  26. Apex Star says: Jul 21, 2010 9:38 AM

    HA HA HA….. wait this is just too good…… HA HA HA……. I bet Tennessee is loving this up. I hope the football gods help USC and Tennessee collide this year. I would definitely watch that.

  27. Troyfan1 says: Jul 21, 2010 11:44 AM

    It is funny how all the Trojan haters that were calling us out for being dishonest and having no integrity through this process still aren’t happy after we have taken drastic steps to rid ourselves of individuals who have contributed to this mess. I think the University has done the right thing getting rid of Garrett and returning the Heisman. Further they have appointed some very high level and respected individuals with law backgrounds to the compliance department in addition to hiring a respected firm to evaluate and help implement additional controls. Kudos…

  28. blitz4848 says: Jul 21, 2010 12:04 PM

    I too AGREE that finally USC has gotten back on the right track. If they can keep Kiffin & Orgeron in check then they are headed back towards regaining the respect and dignity that Carroll/Garrett/past Pres’s arrogance and stonewalling cost them………

  29. Buckster222 says: Jul 21, 2010 12:14 PM

    All this talk about “Integrity” is letting me know that the American people are truly “STUPID”! I wouldn’t mind “S.C” returning Bushes’ Hiesman if they returned all the profits they made off his # 5 jersey sells and the profits of their BCS appearances! That would show to much supposedly “INTEGRITY”! To think they are sending these kids to college with the only intent of conformity is just a flat out a shame!

  30. TheOne1 says: Jul 21, 2010 1:34 PM

    It is amazing how a university can fill the stands because of a student athlete. Rake in millions because of his/her contributions on the field and once that is achieved pretend they knew nothing or as one person put it throw them under the bus if any infractions are commited. Something has to be done about athletes receiving benefits for their monetary contributions to these schools. Everyone reaps benefits except the athlete unless they go on to the pro level and that does not always happen. Even worse is the students athletes that come to a program that has been damaged by former players. The NCAA is full of crap and should be shipped out. They are hypocrites.

  31. Usc hiesman | BioFireCorp says: Mar 15, 2011 3:51 PM

    [...] Stiff-armed: USC to return Reggie Bush’s Heisman |Respond to “Stiff-armed: USC to return Reggie Bush’s Heisman” … I wouldn’t mind “S.C” returning Bushes’ Hiesman if they returned all the profits they made off his # 5 jersey sells and the profits of their BCS appearances! That would show to much supposedly “INTEGRITY”! [...]

  32. Report: USC’s appeal denied by NCAA | CollegeFootballTalk says: May 25, 2011 7:21 PM

    [...] Bylaw violations involving former running back Reggie Bush — the fallout of which included USC returning their Heisman Trophy to the Trust, as well as a voluntary return of his own trophy(but not an admission of guilt) by Bush [...]

  33. Reggie Bush still hasn’t given back Heisman Trophy | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jun 7, 2011 6:46 PM

    [...] far, USC has returned their copy of Bush’s Heisman (pictured), plus been slapped with a series of sanctions from the NCAA, plus had their 2004 BCS National Title [...]

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