According to his attorneys, former running back Reggie Bush is suing the NCAA. Bush’s legal representation stated the former Heisman Trophy winner would hold a press conference at the Coliseum to announce he plans to file a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA.
Thirteen years ago, the NCAA slapped USC with sanctions while alleging that Bush received improper benefits during his collegiate playing career. Bush was ordered to return his Heisman Trophy as part of the NCAA ruling.
What Did Reggie Bush’s Attorney Say?
Bush’s attorneys, Levi G. McCathern and Ty M. Sheaks stated, “The lawsuit is based on the NCAA maliciously attacking his character through a completely false and highly offensive statement that was widely reported in the media and substantially and irreparably damaged his reputation.”
Reggie Bush will sue the NCAA for defamation; the case arises from allegations that the NCAA falsely claimed that Bush was involved in a "pay-for-play" scheme. https://t.co/21GSvQyP1O
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 23, 2023
After the star running back left USC to pursue his NFL dreams, reports surfaced alleging Bush and his family accepted benefits, which violated NCAA rules. Many requests have been made to Bush for comment, but until now, he has never issued a statement confirming or denying the allegations.
The attorneys representing Bush continued, “Specifically, on July 28, 2021, the NCAA falsely stated to reporters that because of Mr. Bush’s prior involvement in a ‘pay-for-play arrangement.’ The NCAA would not consider restoring his collegiate records that it vacated in 2010, which subsequently resulted in Mr. Bush having to return his Heisman Trophy.
“Within less than a day, this false statement was republished by no less than 20 different media organizations and circulated to readers around the world.”
Is Reggie Bush Banned From the NCAA?
The NCAA issued a 10-year disassociation penalty to Bush in 2010. Last year, the disassociation period ended. Since then, he’s fought to have his name cleared.
The NCAA removed Bush from the record book as part of the penalty, and he wants those records restored. And he wants his Heisman Trophy returned.
Update: Former USC RB Reggie Bush is filing a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA, via @BonaguraESPN
"The lawsuit is based on the NCAA maliciously attacking his character through a completely false and highly offensive statement that was widely reported in the media and… pic.twitter.com/aXvKYe1QFe
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 23, 2023
What Has Changed Since the NCAA Sanctioned Reggie Bush?
The entire NCAA landscape surrounding name, image, and likeness (NIL) has changed since litigation in 2021. Collegiate athletes now have various ways of profiting from their name, image, and likeness, which opens the NCAA up to criticism regarding their stance against Bush.
🗣️ GIVE REGGIE BUSH HIS HEISMAN TROPHY BACK!!! pic.twitter.com/4q8XEDef1y
— College Sports Only (@CollegeSportsO) August 23, 2023
With mounting public pressure, the Heisman Trust held firm, denying requests to reinstate his Heisman Trophy.
The Trust issued the following statement: “Bush’s 2005 season records remain vacated by the NCAA and, as a result, under the rule set forth by the Heisman Trust and stated on the Heisman Ballot, he is not eligible to be awarded the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy.”
Bush supporters remain adamant that the NCAA should return his Heisman Trophy.