Reggie Bush's Heisman to Be Discussed by Football Body After Ineligibility

The organization that presents the Heisman Trophy will discuss whether Reggie Bush should keep his 2005 award after college football’s governing body ruled him ineligible the season he won it.

“It definitely will be discussed, but other than that I have no comment,” Tim Henning, a spokesman for the Heisman Trophy Trust, said in a telephone interview.

The group, a charitable organization, gathers monthly and has a meeting planned for July, Henning said. He declined to pinpoint the date. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, ESPN reported, citing an interview with Heisman Trophy Trust President William Dockery. That would mean the issue could be reviewed July 13.

Bush won the Heisman as college football’s best player in 2005, topping runner-up Vince Young. The award has never been stripped in its 75-year history.

The ballot for the trophy states that “recipients must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on June 11 stripped football victories from the University of Southern California, Bush’s team, for violations that primarily involved “agent and amateurism issues” surrounding the running back.

The school, which also faces a two-year bowl ban, must vacate all wins in which Bush competed while ineligible, beginning in December 2004. The Trojans beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in January 2005, claiming the Bowl Championship Series national title. Their BCS title won’t be reviewed until a USC appeal to the NCAA is completed.

‘Death Without Dying’

Speaking publicly today about the NCAA ruling for the first time, Bush told reporters that USC’s punishment feels like “the closest thing to death without dying,” the Associated Press reported. He declined to address the specific allegations against him and said he has no fear of losing his Heisman, AP said.

Bush was sued in 2007 by San Diego sports marketer Lloyd Lake, who claimed he provided Bush and his family with $291,000 in money and goods, including a vehicle and housing, while the running back was at USC, according to a Dec. 28 California appeals court ruling.

Bush, who is now with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, settled the lawsuit last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

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