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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

USC recognizing OJ Simpson’s Heisman jersey but not Reggie Bush’s

USC is recognizing its Heisman Trophy winners with a display of jerseys for Saturday’s season opener against Fresno State. Reggie Bush did not make the cut, but OJ Simpson did.

Technically, Bush is no longer a Heisman Trophy winner. He chose to forfeit the award in 2010 just before the Heisman Trust was scheduled to meet to discuss whether or not it would be taken away. However, some are surprised that USC is willing to associate itself with Simpson, an alleged murderer, and not Bush, who received improper benefits while in school.

If Bush were included, USC would be tied with Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame for the most ever Heisman Trophy winners at seven. Here’s a breakdown of which players the numbers represent:

20 is Mike Garrett from 1965
32 is OJ Simpson from 1968
12 is Charles White from 1979
33 is Marcus Allen from 1981
3 is Carson Palmer from 2002
11 is Matt Leinart from 2004

The NCAA hit USC with heavy sanctions after an investigation determined that Bush received money from two California-based marketing agents. The sanctions included having to vacate numerous victories, including the Trojans’ 2004 national championship. USC was also ordered by the NCAA to permanently dissociate from Bush, which may be the biggest factor in why they chose not to display Bush’s No. 5 jersey for their upcoming game.

We learned recently that USC has been trying to welcome Bush back into the Trojan family, but the NCAA keeps blocking it. Perhaps that is why USC is choosing not to display Bush’s No. 5 jersey. You can’t help but feel like the NCAA’s priorities are slightly out of whack if an alleged murderer is allowed to be honored, but a product of a broken, hypocritical college athletic system is not.

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