While the Heisman Trophy Trust did not strip the New Orleans Saints’ running back of the award — or his personal trophy — at the time, it was rumored that the NCAA might eventually repossess the statue from Bush.
Last September, Bush announced he was relinquishing the award. But that never happened. Instead, Bush donated his award to a museum called the San Diego Hall of Champions, which last Friday returned it to the Bush family.
What was that about relinquishing the award, Reggie?
In a statement released by the Saints last fall, Bush explained his reasons for handing over the trophy:
“The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting. In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals. Nor should it distract from outstanding performances and hard-earned achievements either in the past, present or future.”
Rather than come after Bush at the time, the Heisman Trophy Trust instead chose to vacate the title for the 2005 season (sorry, Vince Young).
In June, the trophy — assumed to be back in the hands of the Heisman Trust — was discovered to be sitting in storage at the San Diego sports museum. But it never made it onto the display shelf.
Now the Heisman Trust wants the statue back, according to a report from Paul Pabst of The Dan Patrick Show .
Former teammate and current New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, for one, doesn’t think Bush should have to give back the award. Here’s what he had to say on The Dan Patrick Show last week:
"I don't think anything you can do off the field, if it's not like a performancing-enhancing thing, I don't care what anybody gives you, whether you have 10 houses or a free meal at the lunch hall, I don't understand how that helps you become head and shoulders the best player maybe in the last decade in college football, maybe longer. I don't see how that translates onto the field. He won the thing on the field, so I don't know how you would give that back."
When the trophy will finally make it back to the Trust — or where it may turn up next — is now anyone’s guess.
H/T Sports by Brooks