After a long and painful offseason of dealing with issues about college eligibility, Saints running back Reggie Bush forfeited his 2005 Heisman Trophy on Tuesday, becoming the first year in the awards 75 year history.
While many people have argued about whether or not Bush should have been able to keep the trophy, he must have gotten some kind of inside information that told him that he would be stripped of the award, so he parted with it on his own terms. He released a statement through the Saints on Tuesday talking about the painful decision that it was for him to hand back his award.
All of the Heisman controversy came from Bush allegedly receiving improper benefits as a student-athlete at USC. He reportedly received over $300,000 worth of benefits from an agent while still in school, making him ineligible to win the award.
Earlier this summer, the NCAA cracked down hard on USC over Bush’s transactions, putting them on a two-year bowl ban and stripping the university of their number of available scholarships. The new Trojans athletic director also returned Bush’s copy of the Heisman at USC, and disassociated Bush with the university.
It will be interesting to see how Bush responds to forfeiting his award. It is good for him to get the ordeal over with, and will be another chip on his shoulder, which is a good thing for the Saints.