Reggie Bush deserves his Heisman back with disassociation from USC ending

Reggie Bush, USC Trojans. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Reggie Bush, USC Trojans. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Reggie Bush should get his Heisman Trophy back after disassociation ends.

Reggie Bush and the 2005 Heisman Trophy have been a stain on college football for a long time.

No matter how many great things have happened on the college football gridiron in the last decade, we’re never that far away from being reminded of how the former USC star had to vacate his Heisman in disgrace.

Whenever we watch USC play and wish for the Trojans to be better, we think of Bush. Indirectly, we do the same thing when we watch the Texas Longhorns or the entire Pac-12. You can’t think of Mack Brown Texas football without thinking of the 2006 Rose Bowl vs. USC. Every time we ask ourselves why the Pac-12 is the fifth-best Power 5 conference, we can’t help but go back to Bush.

A decade ago today, the University of Southern California disassociated itself with arguably its greatest player in program history. Bush was no longer part of the USC family and never talked about him. It was the elephant in the room of major college football and it was incredibly sad. We all know he received improper benefits beginning in 2004, but college football needs Bush.

Though he had a good, but not great NFL career with teams like the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions, nothing compares to what he did on the football field at USC. Because of an NCAA Committee of Infractions ruling adopted back in 2017, no program can enforce a shameful disassociation mandate for more than 10 years.

June 6, 2020 marks 10 years to the date of USC’s disassociation from Bush. It’s time for USC to welcome one of its dearest and most beloved family members back home. It’s also time for Bush to get back his 2005 Heisman Trophy. Let’s make things feel normal again on an early December Saturday night in New York City.

Should Reggie Bush get his Heisman Trophy back?

So much has changed in the 10 years since USC disassociated from Bush. The Pac-10 became the Pac-12 with the addition of the Colorado Buffaloes and the Utah Utes. The College Football Playoff replaced the BCS as the preeminent postseason structure in the sport. Most importantly, there has been progress towards college athletes getting paid for their name, image and likeness.

The latter is exactly why Bush needs to have his Heisman Trophy back. While what he did as an upperclassmen at USC was against the rules at the time, it’s going to be hypocritical to deny one of the greatest running backs in college football history from saying he’s a Heisman Trophy winner. Kids 15 and 20 years younger than him will eventually receive certain benefits with no penalty.

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Had the Heisman voters given the trophy to Texas quarterback Vince Young instead, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but we here are. Bush has already cultivated a strong career as a college football analyst for FOX. As a member of Big Noon Kickoff, it’s time we get back to remembering all the great things Bush did on the field as a Trojan and not the things he did off it.

Change is the only constant in the world. USC can welcome Bush back as early as today. Though it will take time, we need to get Bush’s Heisman back in his hands. If fellow Heisman winner Paul Hornung can be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for being suspended for a year for gambling, we can give Bush back his Heisman Trophy and let him back into the brotherhood.

In a world full of so many wrongs, let’s make one of them right by giving Bush his Heisman back.

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