Blog Entry

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Posted on: June 30, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 9:09 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No, it does not look as if Reggie Bush has returned his Heisman Trophy to the Downtown Athletic Club just yet. And, yes, it's possible that he's not planning on returning it ... ever.

That's the conclusion reached by reading this Sports By Brooks post in which Brooks cites a "source" close to Bush's family claiming that Bush has already "decided" he won't be returning the nation's most famous athletics trophy after all. Bush said otherwise -- sort of -- back in September, but later handed the trophy over to the San Diego Hall of Champions museum rather than the DAC and the Heisman trust. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported June 9 that the trophy is still currently in the museum's possession.

So, yes, it seems clear Bush is either not intending to return the trophy (it having been nearly 10 months now since his announcement) or is simply getting his serious procrastinate on, and hoping everyone forgets about that little pledge in the meantime.

That's not happening, and so Bush is coming in for some finger-wagging and tut-tutting. But here's my question: Should Bush have ever agreed to return the trophy in the first place?

It's true that the trophy is entirely ill-gotten, the benefits lavished on Bush's family having made him ineligible long before he headed to New York to pick it up. It's true that giving it up would be the noble, sportsmanlike thing to do, the most genuine apology Bush could make for the transgressions that have hamstrung and tarnished his former USC program.

But it's not as if the Trust needs it for anything; they've made it clear they're not about to go back and award it to Vince Young. In fact, lost in the race to condemn Bush for not returning it is the little fact that, according to the Picayune, the Trust hasn't even asked for it.

Bush also technically never promised to give it back to begin with, saying that he would "forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005" rather than forfeit the actual piece of hardware itself. It's as weaselly as weasel words get, but you also can't argue he didn't leave himself an out.

So if he's not returning it so it can be handed off to someone else, or because he promised to, why are so many college football fans (and writers like Brooks) seemingly so hell-bent on seeing it forfeited? It's simple: we want Bush punished. He did wrong. It's not enough that his name is forever synonymous with scandal and sleaze, that's he's persona non grata at the school which used to adore him, that his name has already been stricken from the Heisman's record books. By breaking the NCAA's rules and then winning the trophy, he stole something from us (and, if you're a Texas fan, stole something from Young). And when you're caught stealing something, you give it back, right?

Right--which is why it's far, far from unfair for the Trust to ask for it returned if they want. But we're also talking about a hunk of metal won for accomplishments now six years in the rearview mirror, and if they're willing to simply move on, the rest of us should too. It would be nice, sure, if Bush was a big enough man to give the trophy up. But if he wants to be the much smaller man who desperately holds onto this one keepsake from from the scattered wreckage of his college football career as a drowning man does a piece of flotsam, I think we can be generous enough to let him.


Since: Jul 1, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 8:20 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

if they really want it back buy that boy a bucket of chicken and hell he'll give it back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: July 1, 2011 2:13 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Careful!!! I hear he has O.J. standing watch over it & anyone trying to lift it from under Simpson's nose just might feel a "pricking sensation" just before the "high speed" chase. LOL Who really cares anymore. Crooked is as crooked does. :-/  Huh?! Cool

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2011 1:24 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Keep the Trophy... Reggie was MVP of National Champ team 2004(although Matt L. won Heisman) and was BEST PLAYER in CFB in 2005!
Although Cuda believed Lendale White did all dirty work, Reggie was the most exciting CFB player in the BCS era!

 Heisman Trust merely vacated the award for 2005.  They have no use for the hardware!

Fight ON!!! 

Since: Jul 1, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:44 pm

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

No, but if anyone is interested in purchasing a Heisman, I would look for this one on E-Bay some day.

Since: Jul 1, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 11:55 am

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

 He doesn't have to give it back. The NCAA punished USC not Reggie Bush.  They can remove his name from historical records, but I don't think they can take the trophy from him. Especially since he was caught when he no longer was a student at the university

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: July 1, 2011 10:34 am

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?


Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:17 am

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Is taking money worth it kids?  I rode my bike & worked 2 jobs in college.  I paid for my college. No scholarship here.  

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: July 1, 2011 6:17 am

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Why on earth would Bush spend an ounce of his own energy or even the money for a UPS ticket to send the trophy back?  If he and his parents weren't takers, he would still legitimately have the award.  He took money from agents and his parents took a house.  I think it's pretty well-documented that Bush didn't major in "following the rules" or "doing the right thing."
Since Bush technically didn't play that year, he technically couldn't possibly be the "outstanding player in college football" for that year.  That probably gives the DAC legal grounds to just go and get it themselves, or at least call the museum and request that they give it back.  That would be a lot more intelligent and effective than depending on a taker to give back what he took.

Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: July 1, 2011 2:36 am

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

My feeling is the DAC should hold a vote and withdraw his award, take down his picture and remove the Bush name from any offical Heisman information. Erase any reference and declare that no Heisman was awarded that year. Inform Bush that if the trophy is not returned within 60 days he will be sued for 10 million.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2011 2:12 am

Reggie Bush won't return his Heisman. Should he?

Honestly who cares the guy earned it he took no performance enhancing drugs.

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