The NCAA’s new NIL policy went into effect on Thursday, allowing athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
Reggie Bush thinks that the NCAA should return his vacated Heisman Trophy in wake of these changes.
The former USC star released a statement stressing his belief that his “hard work and dedication” were the reasons he won the Heisman, not the improper benefits he received while with the Trojans.
“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,” Bush wrote.
Bush voluntarily returned his Heisman after a four-year improper benefits investigation revealed that Bush and his family had received nearly $300,000 in cash, living arrangements and other benefits. This included a limousine ride to the 2005 Heisman Trophy presentation.
During his Heisman-winning campaign, Bush logged 2,218 scrimmage yards and 18 total touchdowns on 237 touches for the Trojans. His strong performance led to him being the No. 2 overall pick by the Saints.
And Bush is adamant that the benefits he received off the field had zero impact on his performance on the field.
“I never cheated this game,” Bush tweeted. “That was what they wanted you to believe about me.”
Bush isn’t the only one unhappy with the NCAA over this issue. Several other former athletes and Bush’s former teams took to Twitter in support of him and blasted the NCAA for vacating the trophy.
Still, it doesn’t look like Bush will be getting his award back, even despite the NCAA’s policy change.
“We left multiple messages for Michael Comerford, the President of the Heisman Trust, 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,” Bush wrote.
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