A growing number of people feel that the NCAA should clear the way for Reggie Bush to have his Heisman Trophy returned to him. On Wednesday, it was made clear that won’t happen.
The NCAA released a statement Wednesday stating that any sanctions and penalties that had been previously applied would not be reassessed even in light of the organization’s rule changes regarding name, image,and likeness rights. In other words, Bush’s 2005 season will not be recognized or reinstated.
Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy will not be returned in the wake of NIL changes.
NCAA spokesperson: "Previous penalties, including those that are several years old, will not be re-evaluated or reconsidered based on the recent changes to NIL rules,"
— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) July 28, 2021
The Heisman Trust, which actually presents the trophy, made clear that it would be happy to give Bush his trophy but only if the NCAA recognized his 2005 season. The Heisman Trust could theoretically change its rules to remove the provision stating that a Heisman candidate must be in compliance with NCAA rules, but the chances of that happening are virtually nonexistent.
This statement is bad news for another set of former college athletes as well. Future college athletes won’t get in trouble for doing the kinds of things Bush did, but past ones won’t get the retroactive benefit of the doubt from the NCAA.