USC athletic director pushing for Heisman Trophy to be returned to Reggie Bush
USC athletic director Jen Cohen would like to see Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy return to Heritage Hall and, while they’re at it, reinstall his jersey inside the L.A. Coliseum.
With the recent changes to name, image, and likeness compensation in college football, there has been a resurgent push to restore Bush’s Heisman Trophy, won in 2005, and reinstate him. Bush was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last December, and he said then that the NCAA needs to “do the right thing.”
This week, Cohen made an appearance on a local media outlet’s podcast in Los Angeles and was asked where USC stands in the fight.
“Well, we would love to put his jersey in the Coliseum and his Heisman back tomorrow. I mean we are all for that,” Cohen said on The Peristyle Podcast. “I will say I’ve had a lot of really fun moments since I’ve been here, one of my favorites was Reggie’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. I’ve loved Reggie. I watched him play and all those guys, and to actually be around them, to me they are the epitome of USC.
“We’ve been behind Reggie in trying to get his Heisman back. We don’t get to make that decision, but we’ve been fighting for that with him… For us, Reggie Bush is a Heisman Trophy winner, and any and all ways we can honor and recognize that for him that are appropriate for him we will do.”
Bush forfeited the trophy in 2010 after a four-year extra-benefits investigation determined that he and family members accepted impermissible benefits while he was a student-athlete.
USC was hit with a bowl ban for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, forced to forfeit 30 scholarships over a three-year period, and vacate 14 wins between the 2004 and 2005 seasons. The school cut ties with Bush, returned its copy of his Heisman, and removed his No. 5 jersey from the peristyle end of the Coliseum.
In the years since, Bush’s relationship with the school has been mended and his fight against the NCAA has grown.
In June 2020, the NCAA-sanctioned disassociation with Bush ended and he was welcomed back to campus. He filed a defamation suit against the NCAA in August of 2023. At the Hall of Fame ceremony last month, Bush revealed the Heisman Trust asked him to solicit each of the former Heisman winners to sign off on his trophy being returned.
“They literally have the ability to right now,” Bush said in December. “They need to do the right thing. It’s time for them to step up and get ahead of this if they want to.”