Heisman Trophy Trust Reinstates Reggie Bush’s 2005 Heisman

2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

The Heisman Trophy Trust today announced the historic reinstatement of the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy to Reggie Bush.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” said Michael Comerford, President of The Heisman Trophy Trust. “We considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years in deciding that now is the right time to reinstate the Trophy for Reggie.  We are so happy to welcome him back.” 

A 2023 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Bush had a legendary career at the University of Southern California and an electrifying 2005 season, amassing more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 18 touchdowns. He received 784 first-place votes during the 2005 Heisman Trophy campaign, the fifth-most in Heisman Trophy history, while leading USC to a national title berth.

As part of the announcement, the Heisman Trust has returned the Trophy to Bush and the replica to USC. Bush will be invited to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies, starting with the 90th Heisman Trophy ceremony this fall.

The Trust’s decision to reinstate the Trophy follows a deliberative process in which it closely monitored the enormous changes in the college football landscape, including the Supreme Court’s 2021 decision, which questioned the legality of the NCAA’s amateurism model and opened the door to student athlete compensation; the ability of college football players to be paid for their name, image, and likeness (NIL); and the NCAA’s recent proposal to remove the cap on education-related payments. Recognizing that the compensation of student athletes is an accepted practice and appears here to stay, these fundamental changes in college athletics led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the Trophy to Bush, who unquestionably was the most outstanding college football player of 2005.

The Trust is represented by Ted Wells and Joshua Hill of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Comerford said, “We thank attorneys Ted Wells and Josh Hill for their excellent work and counsel for the past two years in helping us come to this decision.” Bush is represented by Levi McCathern and Ty Sheaks of the McCathern firm and Ben Crump, who worked collaboratively with the Trust’s counsel.

About the Heisman Trophy Trust: The Heisman Trophy Trust’s mission is to grow the legacy and preserve the integrity of the Heisman Memorial Trophy, which is annually awarded to the outstanding college football player in the United States, whose performance epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. Beyond awarding the trophy, the Trust has a charitable mission to support and fund both youth development programs in underserved communities and the Heisman high school scholarship program which recognizes community-minded scholar athletes. Additionally, the Trust annually presents the Heisman Humanitarian Award to outstanding individuals in the sports world who further the Heisman vision.  Our goal is to harness the power of the Heisman Trophy’s legacy of athletic excellence to positively impact our nation’s youth and provide more equitable opportunities for underserved communities.

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