Even with new NIL laws in place allowing college athletes to earn money off their likeness, Reggie Bush‘s 2005 Heisman Trophy remains vacated.
Earlier today, the NCAA ruled that Bush will not be able to regain his Heisman, which was relinquished due to him receiving “impermissible benefits” during his time at USC. Even if those benefits would be legal today, it doesn’t change Bush’s status, the NCAA said.
“Previous penalties, including those that are several years old, will not be re-evaluated or reconsidered based on the recent changes to NIL rules,” an NCAA spokesperson said, per Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.
Of course, the NCAA is a frequent target of derision for its archaic rules and regulations. As a result, the organization is getting bashed for its decision on Bush.
The Heisman Trust, which had previously deferred to the NCAA, is also receiving some blowback.
The NCAA is such an easy punching bag.
This is the Heisman Trust's call and it decided to throw up the NCAA as a shield.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) July 28, 2021
Earlier this month the Heisman Trust said it would welcome back Reggie Bush only if the NCAA were to reinstate his 2005 season. So, now Heisman Trust would now have to change its policy for Bush to be reinstated. Not impossible. Not likely.
— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) July 28, 2021
This is almost as dumb as vacating wins from teams. No one that watched will ever forget Reggie Bush won a Heisman. https://t.co/bnXOe63Y6z
— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) July 28, 2021
Man give Reggie Bush his heisman
— Cameron Magruder (@ScooterMagruder) July 28, 2021
I don’t care what the NCAA says, Reggie Bush is still the 2005 Heisman Trophy Award winning in my eyes.
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) July 28, 2021
Reggie Bush took money from an agent, which was against NCAA rules, but had NCAA allowed NIL at the time, Bush would have been one of the most marketable college players ever–and he could have been paid over-the-table, just like classmates and teammates who were also marketable. https://t.co/gE4qlp7OjQ
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 28, 2021
This is a “Reggie Bush rightfully deserves his Heisman” meme. pic.twitter.com/7MXfoHHhwX
— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) July 28, 2021
Anyone who watched Bush play in college knows how electrifying he was, with or without a Heisman to validate his performance.
Still, it remains vexing that the NCAA and Heisman Trust refuse to do what should be done here.