"I never cheated this game. That was what they wanted you to believe about me," Reggie Bush tweeted Thursday, calling for the return of the 2005 Heisman Trophy he forfeited for receiving improper benefits at USC. Bush handed back the trophy in 2010 and his college football statistics were vacated. "It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman trophy 'solely' due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated," Bush said in a statement. He released the statement the day after the NCAA approved a new policy allowing student athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness, CNN reports.
An investigation opened a year after Bush left USC for the NFL found that he and his family had received gifts and improper payments—including a rent-free home and new suit—during his college career, per Bleacher Report. The Trojans received a two-year bowl ban and were forced to vacate 14 wins, including the 2005 Orange Bowl. Bush retired at the end of the 2017 season after an NFL career that included a Super Bowl win with the New Orleans Saints. In his statement, he said he and his team had reached out to the Heisman Trust and the NCAA multiple times without success. Sources tell ESPN that neither the trust nor the NCAA has any immediate plans to return the trophy or restore Bush's statistics. (Read more Reggie Bush stories.)