July 1 marked the day college athletes around the nation began cashing in on their name, image and likeness, but one former NCAA star still found his options limited.
Reggie Bush, the former USC Trojans and New Orleans Saints running back, shared Thursday that his requests to have his college accomplishments reinstated had met a dead end.
Bush came under fire following his ascendant college career due to benefits received by his family that violated NCAA rules. The program faced severe sanctions, had its 2004 title vacated and a two-year bowl ban imposed. Bush voluntarily vacated his 2005 Heisman victory amid reports it would be stripped.
"I never cheated this game," Bush posted. "That was what they wanted you to believe about me."
USC had also officially disassociated itself with Bush, which ended after 10 years in 2020.
With the new NIL rules that went into affect this week, Bush said he's reached out to the Heisman Trust to potentially return the award, and was also seeking to have his college records reinstated.
"We reached out to the NCAA on multiple occasions and received no help or got no response at all," Bush said in a statement Thursday. "It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman Trophy 'solely' due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated."
Bush was drafted No. 2 overall by the Saints in 2006 and was a key piece of the Super Bowl championship roster in the 2009 season. Bush played five years in New Orleans before he was traded to the Miami Dolphins before the 2011 season. He also spent two years with the Detroit Lions, and single seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills before officially retiring in 2017.
Bush was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2019 alongside his bookend from the 2006 draft Marques Colston, whom the Saints picked in the 7th round.
For his career Bush amassed 5,490 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns runs, along with 477 receptions for 3,598 yards and another 18 touchdowns.