Reggie Bush’s NCAA-mandated disassociation from USC will end after the 2020 season, interim director of athletics Dave Roberts announced in an interview with TrojanSports.com Wednesday.
The Division I Committee of Infractions recently reduced any disassociation to 10 years, said Roberts, who sits on the committee, an NCAA administrative body charged with deciding infractions cases involving NCAA-member institutions and their employees.
Bush was a star running back on USC’s football team from 2003 to 2005. In 2005, Bush won the Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,740 yards and 16 touchdowns. Over three seasons, he rushed for 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns while leading USC to a BCS National Championship victory in 2004.
USC was forced to disassociate itself from Bush in 2010 after the NCAA handed down major penalties to the school following a 2006 investigation by Yahoo Sports. The investigation found that Bush had received illegal benefits from marketing agents while at USC.
As a result of the penalties, USC had to vacate the 2004 championship and Bush forfeited his Heisman trophy. The school also received a two-year bowl ban, a reduction of 30 football scholarships and was required to erase Bush’s name and likeness from campus and official records. USC also had to refuse him sideline access to practices and games.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bush had voiced his willingness to return to USC back in April.
“I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to go back and be a part of the school,” Bush told the Times in April. “I love USC.”
According to the same story, USC has tried on three separate occasions to have Bush’s disassociation removed.
“USC has long said that we would love to have Reggie back around campus but the NCAA has mandated the school permanently disassociate from Reggie,” Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone said. “If we did so, it would lead to further NCAA penalties. We have tried several times to appeal the permanent disassociation with no luck. We would love to have him back.”
Despite the COI’s rule change, the decision to reassociate itself with Bush will ultimately be up to USC.
“So in June of 2020, the disassociation for Bush will expire and it’s going to be up to the University what the University wants to do” Roberts said.