Reggie Bush Reinstated As 2005 Heisman Trophy Winner

Reggie Bush has been reinstated as the 2005 Heisman trophy winner, The Heisman Trophy Trust announced on Wednesday.

Michael Comerford, president of The Heisman Trophy Trust, said the organization “considered the enormous changes in college athletics” in its decision to return the trophy to Bush.

The retired NFL player famously forfeited his trophy in 2010 following an NCAA investigation that found he received improper benefits during his college football career at the University of Southern California.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” Comerford said. “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,” he continued.

The Heisman Trust returned the trophy back to Bush and gave a replica to USC. Additionally, Bush will be invited to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies, the organization said.

Bush was a star running back at USC from 2003 to 2005 before he gave up his Heisman after an NCAA investigation determined that he and his family received impermissible gifts while he was still a student.

The NCAA also penalized USC by stripping the men’s football team of its 2004 national title, as well as vacating 14 team victories from 2004 and 2005.

Reggie Bush photographed holding the Heisman Trophy during the 2005 Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City on December 10, 2005. The Heisman Trophy Trust announced on April 24, 2024 that Bush has been reinstated as the 2005 Heisman trophy winner.

Bush has been outspoken for years about his efforts to have his trophy reinstated.

In 2021, the day after the NCAA announced its interim NIL policy that said college athletes could benefit from their name, image and likeness, he released a statement expressing his “strong belief” that his Heisman gets reinstated.

“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,” he said at the time, per The Associated Press.

The Heisman Trust said it had closely monitored changes in college athletics,  including a 2021 Supreme Court decision that “opened the door to student athlete compensation,” the organization said.

The Supreme Court ruled that year that the NCAA can’t enforce certain rules limiting education-related benefits.

“Recognizing that the compensation of student athletes is an accepted practice and appears here to stay, these fundamental changes in college athletics led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the Trophy to Bush, who unquestionably was the most outstanding college football player of 2005,” the Heisman Trust said.

Bush celebrated reuniting with his Heisman trophy in a statement to ESPN on Wednesday.

“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,” he said. “I also look forward to working together with the Heisman Trust to advance the values and mission of the organization.”