The 2005 Heisman Trophy will not be returned to former USC Trojans running back Reggie Bush any time soon.

The NCAA will not consider reversing penalties or previously vacated records from past years based on recent changes to name, image and likeness regulations that went into effect this month, according to an NCAA spokesperson.

“Although college athletes can now receive benefits from their names, images and likenesses through activities like endorsements and appearances, NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements,” the NCAA spokesperson said. “The NCAA infractions process exists to promote fairness in college sports. The rules that govern fair play are voted on, agreed to and expected to be upheld by all NCAA member schools.”

This is noteworthy for Bush because earlier this month the Heisman Trust issued a statement in which it said it would look forward to “welcoming him back to the Heisman family” if the NCAA were to reinstate Bush’s status from the 2005 season.

“Bush’s 2005 season records remain vacated by the NCAA and, as a result, under the rule set forth by the Heisman Trust and stated on the Heisman Ballot, he is not eligible to be awarded the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy,” the statement said.

Bush’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, issued a statement Wednesday that was critical of the NCAA’s decision.

“… The NCAA doubles down on its decade-plus draconian penalty of a teenage kid who had his award taken based upon a sham investigation,” Spiro said in a statement. “You have to wonder if profiting from kids for this long has clouded the NCAA’s judgment as to why we have student athletics in the first place.”

Earlier this month — on the same day that college athletes were officially granted rights to profit from NIL deals — Bush released a statement calling for a reversal of his punishment.

Bush had returned his Heisman Trophy after a four-year extra-benefits investigation determined that he and family members, while he was a student-athlete, accepted cash, travel expenses and a home in the San Diego area where Bush’s parents lived rent-free for more than a year and for which they were provided $10,000 to furnish.

Sanctions from the investigation, which came in 2010, mandated that Bush disassociate from USC and included a two-year postseason ban for the school, 14 vacated victories (including the 2004 BCS national championship) and the loss of 30 scholarships. His 10-year disassociation period ended in June 2020.



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