Reggie Bush still suing NCAA despite Heisman Trophy return

Reggie Bush is happy to have his Heisman Trophy back, but the former USC football great is still taking the NCAA to court.
USC Trojans running back Reggie Bush has his Heisman Trophy back, but he's still taking the NCAA to court.
USC Trojans running back Reggie Bush has his Heisman Trophy back, but he's still taking the NCAA to court. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reggie Bush has his Heisman Trophy back 14 years after he forfeited the honor, but the former USC Trojans football legend is still going ahead with his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA.

"Shame on you, NCAA," said a statement from Bush and his legal team, via Ryan Kartje of the Los Angeles Times. "Why does it take so long to do the right thing? Why does it take so long to have common sense?"

The suit, originally filed by Bush and his team last August, stems from an NCAA statement that went public in the summer of 2021 when ESPN posed the question of whether Bush's playing records should be reinstated given the new NIL policy in college football.

The NCAA responded by saying its "rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements. 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."

Bush's attorneys responded in a complaint filed in Marion Superior Court (Ind.), nearby the NCAA's office in Indianapolis, saying the statement is "completely false and highly offensive."

In addition to the complaint, Bush's attorneys circulated a petition asking for 10,000 signatures "to restore Reggie Bush's collegiate records so he can reclaim his Heisman Trophy."

Bush returned his Heisman back in 2010 after an NCAA investigation ruled the former Trojans star and his family accepted improper benefits when he was playing at USC. He also had to disassociate himself from the school for 10 years.

The Heisman Trust announced it would reinstate the Trophy to Bush, who won college football's highest individual honor for his play in the 2005 season with USC, when he ran for 1,740 yards and rushed for 16 touchdowns.

Now with that chapter of the drama coming to a close, Bush wants to settle his dispute with the NCAA to further put it all behind him.


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James Parks


James Parks is the founder and publisher of College Football HQ. He previously covered football for 247Sports and CBS Interactive. College Football HQ joined the Sports Illustrated Fannation Network in 2022.