Reggie Bush says he's giving back his Heisman Trophy

Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player in 2005. Now, following NCAA sanctions leveled against the USC football program, Reggie Bush is forfeiting the Heisman Trophy.

AP Photo/Dave Martin/File
In this Aug. 27 file photo, New Orleans Saints player Reggie Bush watching from the sidelines during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Bush said Tuesday that he is forfeiting his Heisman Trophy.

Reggie Bush says he is forfeiting his Heisman Trophy.

The New Orleans Saints' running back released a statement Tuesday saying he would give back the award that he won in 2005 while he was at Southern California.

It's the first time college football's top award was returned by a recipient.

"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," Bush said. "Those are gifts that can never be taken away."

USC was hit with heavy sanctions by the NCAA this summer after it determined Bush had received improper benefits. The NCAA ruled that Bush was ineligible for the 2005 season, which opened the possibility that the Heisman Trophy Trust would take back the award.

One of the few guidelines given to Heisman Trophy voters is that a player must be in compliance with NCAA rules to be eligible for the trophy.

The eight-member Heisman Trophy Trust, based in New York, had said it would have to consider what to do about Bush, who won in a landslide vote over Texas quarterback Vince Young.

There was no immediate word from the Heisman Trust if the award would be vacated or given to Young.

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