Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy saga with the NCAA has just taken a significant turn. The NCAA recently responded to an inquiry regarding Bush’s attempt to get his 2005 Heisman Trophy reinstated, wherein they labeled the former USC star’s stint as a “pay-for-play type arrangement.”
Bush clearly did not appreciate the jab, and he is now taking legal action in response to the NCAA.
Reggie Bush to File Defamation Lawsuit Vs. NCAA
Bush’s law firm, McCathern, PLLC, released an official statement on Wednesday stating their camp’s intention to take this matter to court via a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA:
“The lawsuit is based on the NCAA maliciously attacking his character through a completely false and highly offensive statement that was widely reported in the media and substantially and irreparably damaged his reputation,” the statement read (h/t Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.
“… The NCAA’s statement is completely false and highly offensive. The NCAA knew Mr. Bush was never even accused of, involved in, much less sanctioned for any ‘pay-for-play arrangement,’ which never occurred.”
For context, below is the official statement from the NCAA, which prompted this drastic reaction from the former New Orleans Saints wide receiver:
“Although college athletes can now receive benefits from their names, images and likenesses through activities like endorsements and appearances, NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements,” an NCAA spokesperson said in that statement. “The NCAA infractions process exists to promote fairness in college sports. The rules that govern fair play are voted on, agreed to and expected to be upheld by all NCAA member schools.”
Bush was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2005 after a tremendous campaign with USC. However, in 2010, the NCAA launched a full-blown investigation into Bush’s stint with the Trojans, which they later determined involved questionable dealings with a marketing agency. The governing body decided to vacate Bush’s trophy, while also forcing USC to forfeit 14 wins from the time Bush was with the team.
For his part, Reggie Bush has vehemently denied any and all accusations, which is why it’s quite understandable that he’s hit back the NCAA with a lawsuit here.