Reggie Bush, the Super Bowl-winning NFL working again and former University of Southern California star, accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of wrongly stopping him from reinstating his Heisman Trophy win, a transfer his lawyer in comparison with a “plantation mentality” that treats school soccer stars like “servants.”
“It’s past time for Reggie Bush’s rightful place in college football history to be restored! Call on the NCAA to reinstate Reggie’s collegiate records and legacy — stand up for justice and fairness, and honor true sportsmanship!” his lawyer, civil rights chief Ben Crump, wrote on X on Thursday.
“The NCAA must change its plantation mentality, treating collegiate student athletes like indentured servants,” he added.
Mr Bush, as soon as among the finest school soccer gamers within the nation, sued the NCAA in Indiana courtroom on Wednesday, claiming the league defamed him by alleging he accepted prohibited “pay-for-play” advantages throughout his USC profession.
“I’ve got dreams of coming back in this stadium and running out of that tunnel with the football team,” Mr Bush mentioned on Wednesday at a press convention on the Los Angeles Coliseum, a stadium embellished the place he performed his video games at USC that’s embellished with tributes to the college’s league MVP winners. “I’ve got dreams of walking back in here and seeing my jersey and my banner right down there next to the rest of the Heisman Trophy winners. But I can’t rightfully do that without my Heisman Trophy.”
The NCAA declined to remark when contacted by The Independent.
In 2010, the NCAA accused Mr Bush, who was by then within the NFL, of accepting improper advantages from a would-be sports activities agent whereas he was nonetheless a university athlete.
The perks included money, journey bills, and a house in San Diego the place his dad and mom lived rent-free for greater than a 12 months, in response to ESPN.
As a punishment, the NCAA banned him from bowl video games for 2 years, vacated 14 victories, and required him to “disassociate” from USC for 10 years.
In the midst of the scandal, the working again voluntarily returned his 2005 league MVP Heisman Trophy.
Mr Bush, who’s now an NFL commentator, went on to go professional in 2006 and make hundreds of thousands from skilled contracts and endorsement offers.
In 2021, a brand new chapter within the saga started when the NCAA introduced long-sought rule adjustments permitting student-athletes to revenue off their title and likeness, opening the flood gates for prime school gamers to earn hundreds of thousands from endorsement offers, social media accounts, autograph auctions, and different ventures.
With the rule change, the Heisman Trust mentioned it seemed “forward to welcoming (Bush) back to the Heisman family” if the NCAA restored his standing.
At the time, nonetheless, the NCAA urged Mr Bush’s actions as a participant nonetheless would’ve been banned.
“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,” a spokesperson advised media shops like ESPN. “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.”
Mr Bush insists that he by no means engaged in pay-for-play, a time period generally understood to imply receiving funds straight for enjoying on the sector.
“Not only is it not true, but there is no evidence to even support that claim,” the working again mentioned on Wednesday throughout his press convention. “It wasn’t even part of the initial NCAA investigation, so this is a new accusation as far as I’m concerned. That’s what this lawsuit is about. It’s about truth, getting the facts out and holding the NCAA accountable, which I think is maybe the first time in my memory that this has happened, someone holding them accountable for their actions and what they’ve done in regards to me and other players as well.”
Players, and finally state legislators, pushed for years to permit NCAA athletes to revenue from their achievements throughout their time as scholar athletes, arguing that top-level school leagues have been billion-dollar companies, the place universities bought profitable media rights and prime coaches earned hundreds of thousands, however the expertise driving the trade weren’t rewarded in the identical means.