Reggie Bush to forfeit 2005 Heisman

Mike Kelly, Editor-in-Chief

               Reggie Bush was arguably the most electrifying and hyped college running back of the last decade. And it is Reggie Bush, 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, who gave up his coveted award on Tuesday. Bush, who has been under pressure and investigation since his Heisman winning campaign in 2005, released a statement earlier this week.

             “One of the greatest honors of my life was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005,”the statement reads. “For me, it was a dream come true. But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name…It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005.”

                The NCAA issued numerous sanctions on USC relating to improper benefits received by Bush and basketball star O.J. Mayo, who only played one season for the Trojans. “For the rest of my days, I will continue to strive to demonstrate through my actions and words that I was deserving of the confidence placed in me by the Heisman Trophy Trust,” Bush’s statement continued

                   The eight member Heisman trophy trust had said it would have to consider what to do about Bush, who won in a landslide victory over Texas quarterback Vince Young. “The Heisman Trophy Trust will issue a statement in due course,” Trust president Bill Dockery said Tuesday. “Until that time we have no further comment.”

                During an interview Monday morning with Hannah Storm on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Young said he wouldn’t turn away the trophy if Bush gave it up.

                “I definitely want it, I definitely want it,” said Young, who led Texas to the national championship, where the Longhorns beat Bush’s Trojans that year. “But he won it fair and square definitely, and it’s much respect to Reggie, man. He had a great career…But at the same time I am definitely happy for him, man, and he is definitely the Heisman Trophy winner for that year. But if they send it over to me I am not going to say no to it,” Young said.

                  The allegations against Bush consist of him and his family receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from two California based marketing agents. It was originally reported in September of 2006, after Bush was a New Orleans Saint in the NFL. The investigation by the NCAA and Pac-10 soon followed, and Bush denied all wrong doing. However he never privately met with investigators, leaving skeptics around.

                 Four years later the investigation was complete, and punishments were severe. USC had 14 victories taken away from when Bush played from the 2004 to 2005 season. USC beat Oklahoma in the BCS title game in January of ‘05 and won 12 games during Bush’s Heisman-winning 2005 season, which ended with a loss to Texas in the 2006 BCS title game.

              It seems now the Heisman committee will treat this forfeit just as they did the national championship lost by USC. It will remain vacant in history and have no winner. Just stand as a reminder of a sad series of events for one college athlete and his coaches.