Amid controversy surrounding the legitimacy of Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy after the NCAA found the school and Bush in violations, resulting the USC being stripped of wins and probation, Bush decided to surrender the Heisman Trophy award on Tuesday. Bush is the first winner of the trophy to forfeit the award. He released a statement released by the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday saying:
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 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.
For the rest of my days, I will continue to strive to demonstrate through my actions and words that I was deserving of the confidence placed in me by the Heisman Trophy Trust. I would like to begin in this effort by turning a negative situation into a positive one by working with the Trustees to establish an educational program which will assist student-athletes and their families avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I am determined to view this event as an opportunity to help others and to advance the values and mission of the Heisman Trophy Trust.
I will forever appreciate the honor bestowed upon me as a winner of the Heisman. While this decision is heart-breaking, I find solace in knowing that the award was made possible by the support and love of so many. Those are gifts that can never be taken away."
Speculation has been running from many on whether or not Heisman runner up and former Texas Longhorn Vince Young would be given the award as a result of Bush forfeiting it. Per Jim Wyatt, Young says he "definitely want[s] it."
I definitely want it, I definitely want it,'' said Young, who was runner-up for the Heisman that year, when he guided Texas to the national championship. "But he won it fair and square definitely, and it's much respect to Reggie, man. He had a great career and he's already won a Super Bowl before me. I'm already mad about that.
Young contradicted himself on Monday night on Twitter, however.
Just heard about Reggies Heisman. Reg will continue to be the 2005 Award recipient and I will continue to be honored to have been in the 2005 Heisman campaign with such a talented athlete.
Whether or not Young will be given the award will be up to the Heisman Trust. As it stands, the Heisman Trophy from 2005 is vacant.