Reggie Bush remains a Heisman hopeful, but the NCAA ruled his 2005 trophy will remain vacated due to benefits violations in place during his eligibility at Southern Cal.
As Name, Image and Likeness bylaws were approved earlier this month, Bush made a plea to the Heisman Trust to restore the 2005 Heisman Trophy and career records with the Trojans.
“Although college athletes can now receive benefits from their names, images and likenesses through activities like endorsements and appearances, NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements,” the NCAA said in a statement to ESPN. “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.”
Following a 2010 investigation, the NCAA ruled Bush accepted cash and other improper benefits from USC, which also furnished his parents with an apartment and spending allowance. USC also lost scholarships and vacated the 2004 BCS national title.
The Heisman Trust operates independently of the NCAA and pushed the decision to the college sports governing body.
“Bush’s 2005 season records remain vacated by the NCAA and, as a result, under the rule set forth by the Heisman Trust and stated on the Heisman Ballot, he is not eligible to be awarded the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy,” the statement said.