The Heisman Trophy Trust is expected to strip New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush his 2005 Heisman Trophy, Yahoo! Sports reported. The award was presented to him while he was a player at the University of Southern California.
The organization is rumored to be completing an investigation on the NCAA’s finding that Bush had accepted lavish gifts from two sports marketers while at USC and was therefore ineligible for the 2005 season. The men are said to have paid for everything from hotel stays to a limousine and new suit for when he accepted the award. They are also said to have paid for a rent-free home where Bush’s family lived.
ESPN’s Chris Fowler said on “SportsCenter” that the report was “premature,” and that the eight-person trust is still making a decision on the matter. The trust has a regularly scheduled meeting in September.
The USC was cited for “lack of institutional control” by the NCAA and received several penalties, including four years probation and a two year bowl ban. In July C.L. Max Nikias, the president of USC, had the school’s athletic department return its copy of Bush’s Heisman to the trust and ordered the school to remove almost all references to Bush, including murals, in order to disassociate from the athlete. Bush is currently banned from USC’s campus.
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Bush would be the first player in the Heisman Trophy’s 75-year history to be stripped of the award.