The Heisman Trophy Trust is expected to strip former USC running back Reggie Bush of his 2005 Heisman Trophy and leave the award vacant, Yahoo Sports reported.
Two sources close to the trust said the organization is completing its investigation and will agree with the NCAA's finding that Bush accepted improper benefits while at USC and was ineligible during the 2005 season, according to the report. The NCAA cited USC for "lack of institutional control" and handed the Trojans four years' probation, a two-year bowl ban and a reduction in football scholarships.
Bush would become the first player in the 75-year history of the Heisman Trophy to have the award taken away.
In July, USC president C.L. Max Nikias ordered the school's athletic department to return its copy of Bush's 2005 Heisman to the Heisman Trophy Trust. Nikias also ordered the school to remove nearly all references to Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo, including murals, as part of the NCAA's directive to disassociate the school from the athletes.
As that time, Bush had not been asked to return his copy and the Heisman Trophy Trust said it had not yet decided whether Bush would be stripped of the award.
Bush met with Heisman representatives last month at the New York law offices of Emmet, Marvin & Martin, the sources said, according to the report.
The sources declined to discuss the details of that meeting, according to the report.
Last week, Texas coach Mack Brown said former Longhorns quarterback Vince Young, who finished second in the 2005 Heisman voting to Bush, should be given the award if Bush is stripped. Young led the Longhorns past USC to the BCS national championship that year, after Bush was awarded the Heisman in a landslide.
The NCAA ruled that Bush received lavish gifts from two fledgling sports marketers hoping to sign him. The men paid for everything from hotel stays and a rent-free home where Bush's family apparently lived to a limousine and a new suit when he accepted his Heisman in New York in December 2005.
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Reggie Bush to forfeit HeismanEmail Print Comments50 ESPN.com news services
Running back Reggie Bush has decided to hand over the Heisman.
Under pressure since his award winning 2005 campaign at Southern California was vacated, Bush said in a statement on Tuesday that he will forfeit the Heisman Trophy.
"One of the greatest honors of my life was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005," the statement released by the New Orleans Saints reads. "For me, it was a dream come true. But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.
"It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005."
The NCAA passed down heavy sanctions on USC relating to improper benefits received by Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo. The Heisman Trust has been reviewing whether Bush should have his award taken away but had not made a decision.
It's the first time college football's top award was returned by a recipient.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
It's amazing How NCAA officials get all high and mighty when someone gets caught getting perks and on the other they hand out bags of Tostidos to make sure the kids who just made the National Championship Game are sucking up to the sponsors.
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