One of the hottest topics in sports won’t be debated for much longer now that Reggie Bush has decided to forfeit the Heisman Trophy. We’ve touched on this issue many times before, saying it’s the right thing to do. The premise is simple: Bush was an ineligible player and non-compliant with the student athlete bylaws. Giving back the Trophy does not mean Bush was not the best player in the country that year, it just means that he can’t have the highest individual honor because his actions off the field took it away. Here’s a portion of the statement Bush’s lawyers/P.R. people wrote for him:
“But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.
It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005. The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting. In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals. Nor should it distract from outstanding performances and hard-earned achievements either in the past, present or future.”
Finally the story comes to an end with the solution that should have happened all along. It reflects much more positively upon Bush that he gave the Trophy back instead of having it taken away, so I’m guessing this was arranged between Reggie and the Heisman Trust.
So what happens now? Is his name still listed as one of the Heisman Trophy winners? Will there be an asterisk in the future? That’s probably what I would do. As for Vince Young, he’s still the runner-up, not the winner. The Heisman should be left as is, not given to him.
Remorseful Saints RB Bush gives back 2005 Heisman Trophy [NFL.com]