Reggie Bush made sports history on Tuesday, when he forfeited the Heisman Trophy he earned while a running back for the University of Southern California (USC). In a statement about the forfeiture, the current New Orleans Saints player admitted to making mistakes in his college career.
Representatives from the Heisman Trust say a decision had not yet been made in the investigation into the allegations against Bush. But sources close to the investigation said it was expected that the award would be revoked before the end of this month.
The investigation began after the NCAA found violations that Bush had committed during his tenure at USC, and had instituted sanctions against the college. Bush had allegedly received many improper benefits during his time in college, including cash, a car, and a house.
In his statement about his decision to hand back the most prestigious football award a college player can receive, Bush said that he took the legacy and good name of the award into consideration. His said he did not want the media storm surrounding the allegations to reflect on the award itself, or on those who receive the award in the future. He also voiced his desire to start a program that would help college athletes avoid the same mistakes he made.
The NCAA had ruled in June that Bush was ineligible for part of 2004 and all of 2005. As part of its findings, USC was forced to remove references to Bush from all of its sporting venues and promotional materials. They were also ordered to remove his statistics from his ineligible games.
USC’s status as the 2004 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Champion is still undecided. The USC Trojans have appealed the June finding that the championship be vacated, and BCS officials are awaiting the NCAA’s ruling.