The University of Southern California decided to end its disassociation with former running back Reggie Bush and guard O.J. Mayo 10 years after sanctions were placed on the school's programs, the school announced Wednesday. Advancements on Bush's reinstatement were first reported by ESPN's Kyle Bonagura.
The 2005 Heisman trophy winner, Bush was disassociated from USC following the NCAA's discovery that he and his family members were given monetary benefits while Bush attended USC as a student-athlete. The four-year investigation determined that Bush had accepted cash, travel expenses and a home where Bush's parents lived for over a year—along with $10,000 in furnishing expenses.
“I’ve dreamed of this day for 10-plus years, and I’m excited to come home!" Bush said in a release from USC.
Mayo was disassociated from the university in 2010 after an internal investigation revealed he had received improper compensation and gifts while he was a student-athlete on the men's basketball team. USC announced self-imposed sanctions that included vacating 21 wins and returning money received for the school's participation in the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments during the 2007-08 season.
Per the NCAA Committee on Infractions rule, there is a limit of 10 years on a mandated disassociation between an individual and a school. According to procedures, it is up to the school whether to extend the disassociation or end it following the 10-year period. Bush's disassociation with USC first began on June 10, 2010.
Due to the findings, the NCAA placed sanctions on the USC football program that included a two-year postseason ban, 14 vacated victories—including the loss of the 2004 BCS national championship—and 30 lost scholarships. In addition, Bush was mandated to be disassociated from the university and returned his 2005 Heisman trophy.
According to USC's release, the end of Bush's disassociation does not impact the school's vacated victories or his vacated statistics in those games. The status of Bush's forfeited 2005 Heisman trophy also "remains unchanged at this time."
Since 2010, Bush was not allowed to be involved with USC's program or on the school's campus. His statistics have featured an asterisk in USC's media guide and noted the accomplishments were vacated due to penalties. Bush was allowed to attend a USC game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in September as a broadcaster for Fox Sports.
Bush played with USC from 2003-05, totaling 3,169 rushing yards, 1301 receiving yards and 38 overall touchdowns in his three seasons before some of his statistics were vacated, and was later drafted No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints in 2006. Meanwhile, Mayo was named to the All-Pac-10 first team as a freshman after averaging 20.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and was drafted No. 3 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008, becoming USC's highest-drafted player in program history.