Amid calls for Reggie Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy to be reinstated, the Heisman Trophy trust issued a statement Friday suggesting that they aren't opposed to returning the award.
The only catch is that the NCAA will have to reinstate his season first.
"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," a statement from the trust released Friday said. "Should the NCAA reinstate Bush's 2005 status, the Heisman Trust looks forward to welcoming him back to the Heisman family."
NCAA athletes became eligible to profit off of their name, image and likeness Thursday, and Bush subsequently issued the following tweets:
Bush ran for 1,740 yards and scored 18 total touchdowns in 2005, ultimately winning the Heisman Trophy in his junior season.
As James Fragoza of Pro Football Network noted, Bush was later accused of receiving "nearly $300,000" of cash and gifts. He ended up not only "relinquishing" his Heisman, but actually giving back the physical version of one of the most iconic trophies in sports. As part of a larger scandal at the school, USC had to vacate the entire 2005 season, and the same fate was levied against Bush for that year.
The charges against Bush - while a violation NCAA rules at the time - of course didn't enhance his performance on the field in any way. As far as Heisman-winning USC running backs go, he's certainly not at the top of the list in terms of doing anything wrong off the field, and under today's rules, nothing done off the field would even be a violation.
Currently, as far as the Heisman trust is concerned, there wasn't a winner of the 2005 Heisman Trophy. Texas quarterback Vince Young finished runner-up in voting that season, and has said he has no interest in being retroactively named the winner of the award.