July 1 was the first day that college athletes can make money off their name, image, and likeness. Since then, multiple athletes have struck deals with more likely to come.
Also on July 1, former USC running back Reggie Bush posted a statement on social media requesting his college records and Heisman Trophy be reinstated now that it’s legal for an athlete to profit off their name.
After having limited to no progress from The Heisman Trust and the NCAA returning his messages over the last few months, The Heisman Trust released a statement on the matter.
In their statement, The Heisman Trust said that “the recent decision by the NCAA to allow student athletes the ability to control their name, image and likeness is a positive step in the right direction” and that “should the NCAA reinstate Bush’s 2005 status, the Heisman Trust looks forward to welcoming him back to the Heisman family.”
In essence, Bush getting his Heisman back is on the NCAA and if they reinstate his records, then The Heisman Trust has no problem with reinstating Bush’s trophy.
That might come off as passing the buck and The Heisman Trust not wanting to be the ones to go out on a limb and make the decision but the fact that they publicly responded before the NCAA did gave them that ability to pin this on the NCAA. At least by doing that, The Heisman Trust did one thing right and put themselves in a better light when compared to the NCAA.
It’s in The Heisman Trust’s bylaws that “a recipient must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete.” So while it might be unfair to rely on the NCAA to do something, it is something The Heisman Trust can point to and cover their butts. From Bush’s point of view, while what he did was illegal at the time, what he did had nothing to do with his on-field play. And because now what he did is legal, and didn’t affect his on-field play, his achievements should be restored.