On Monday Reggie Bush forfeited his Heisman Trophy four years after the revelation that he took extra benefits from two marketing agents while still at USC.
It’s reasonable to surmise that Bush gave up the 2005 award because he was made aware or had a strong suspicion that he was going to be stripped of it anyway. We were all tipped off to that distinct possibility by a recent Yahoo Sports report asserting that Bush would be “relieved” of the Heisman before September was out.
As part of that prophetic report, Yahoo noted that the Heisman Trophy Trust used the following criteria to decide that it would strip Bush of the award:
Two sources close to the Heisman trust said the body’s investigation is coming to a close, and will ultimately concur with the NCAA’s determination that Bush was ineligible during his Heisman-winning season in 2005. Because of that independent conclusion, sources said the trust will relieve Bush of the award and leave the honor for that season vacant.
Two factors outweighed all others, sources said: The Heisman ballot necessitates candidates be in compliance with NCAA bylaws and concern over the Heisman’s reputation in the wake of the NCAA findings against Bush.
Never in the history of the award has the trust been forced to retroactively rule on the eligibility of a past winner.
So Bush was effectively stripped of the Heisman Trophy because he tarnished the reputation of the award by taking extra benefits from an agent while at USC - rendering him retroactively ineligible for the Heisman.
With that as the Heisman Trust’s criteria for stripping Bush of the 2005 honor, why hasn’t 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon had his award take away?
Thanks to 1960 California federal court records, it’s an acknowledged fact that Cannon fulfills the same criteria that the Heisman Trust used to, for all intents and purposes, revoke Bush’s award. Read more…