On June 7, Dan Patrick Show Executive Producer Paul Pabst reported that the Heisman Trophy Trust had repeatedly contacted Reggie Bush’s agent, Joel Segal, in a bid to have Bush’s personal version of the now-vacated 2005 Heisman Trophy returned. (Bush officially relinquished the award on Sept. 14, 2010.)
(Bush, SDHOC President Calling Heisman Trophy Trust’s Bluff?)
Two days later, a San Diego sports museum executive reported to Pabst that the museum had been loaned Bush’s personal copy of the Heisman Trophy by Bush’s stepfather and mother on March 22 - but that the museum would soon return the rogue trophy to Lamar and Denise Griffin.
In Pabst’s June 9 post, he cited the following from San Diego Hall of Champions (SDHOC) Vice President Angela LaChica:
At the time the museum took possession of the trophy, they did not know the Heisman Foundation wanted the trophy back. ”We’ve had it here the past two months, since March 22, but we never displayed it. Some of our employees didn’t even know we had it,” La Chica said. The trophy is currently sitting in a back room in a box.
La Chica added that the museum is in the process of contacting Lamar and Denise Griffin to arrange return of the Heisman Trophy to the family.
Last night I reported that as of Wednesday evening, despite LaChica’s June 9 assurance of the trophy’s return to the Bush family, the SDHOC was still in possession of Bush’s Heisman. I also confirmed through a source close to Bush that the former USC star now had no intention of ever returning his personal copy of the award to the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Thursday morning while appearing on KLSD-AM in San Diego, SD Hall of Champions President Al Kidd confirmed that not only did the museum have no plans to return Bush’s Heisman Trophy to the Griffins or Bush himself, but that he had “every intention” of putting it on display as an official SDHOC exhibit.
Kidd to Chris Ello and Ben Higgins of KLSD radio Thursday:
“Many months ago we did take possession of his Heisman Trophy and it was after having had a discussion with the Heisman Trust. They didn’t have necessarily any interest one way or another in receiving the trophy back. Reggie donated it to the Hall in the form of a loan and we have every intention of putting it on display.
“The Heisman Trust knows its here … they’ve not asked for it back. They’ve told us in fact it’s of no consequence to them at this point. We’ve had direct conversations with them and they know it’s here and they’ve never asked us to return it. .. We don’t see any controversy with this whatsoever.”
When asked by Ello when the Bush family loaned the SDHOC the Heisman Trophy, Kidd said:
“I don’t recall the exact timing but my recollecton is it happened before all the controversy.”
SDHOC VP LaChica told Pabst on June 9 that the museum officially took receipt of the trophy on March 22, 2011.
During the San Diego radio interview Kidd also attempted to explain why the SDHOC had not displayed Bush’s Heisman Trophy despite having it for, as Kidd called it, “many months“:
“We had to first make sure that there was not going to be any additional fallout from some of the reports that had come out. From who we talked to, who the decision makers were, we felt very strong and comfortable with our position [but] we didn’t want to go to the expense of doing anything [at the moment]. We were kind of waiting to have all this stuff blow through.”
Moments earlier in the conversation, Kidd told Ello and Higgins, “we don’t see any controversy with this whatsoever.”
Regardless the glaring contradictions between SDHOC executives Kidd and LaChica, Kidds comments and what a Heisman Trust source told Pabst and Bush’s unmistakable implication on Sept. 16, 2010, that he would return the trophy, it’s now clear that if the Heisman Trophy Trust wants Bush’s copy of the 2005 award back, it can either issue a public statement to that effect or bookmark Lamar Griffin’s eBay account.