Reggie Bush is back at USC. With the 10-year disassociation period over, USC Athletics is again allowed to claim Bush as part of the Trojan family, and USC leadership wasted no time in doing so.
According to USC, President Carol L. Folt reached out to Bush in a letter, which read in part, ““I am pleased to inform you that all restrictions and prohibitions on your involvement in our athletics program are officially removed and you will be afforded the privileges and courtesies extended to all Trojan football alumni.”
Athletic Director Mike Bohn said, “When I was hired to represent the Trojan Family as the Director of Athletics, I committed to listening and learning before leading. Throughout this process, one of the consistent themes that emerged from my discussions was how much Reggie Bush means to our former players, USC alumni, and fans everywhere. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Reggie and so many of his teammates, and I’m pleased his disassociation has ended so that we can welcome him back to our family. I’m confident that Reggie will use his incredible platform and influential voice to support and empower all of our student-athletes.”
Clearly, if there was any ill-will between the two parties, it’s in the past, as USC’s press release quoted Bush as saying, “I’ve dreamed of this day for 10-plus years, and I’m excited to come home!”
The newfound association between Bush and USC does not change the fact that 15 games over the 2004 and 2005 seasons have been vacated, and his stats from those games remain vacated as well. Bush will also not regain his 2005 Heisman Trophy, which he returned to the Heisman Trophy Trust in 2010. Though, perhaps interestingly, USC’s release said the status of the trophy remains unchanged “at this time.”
Bush’s stats, including those vacated games, at USC include 3,169 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground, 95 receptions for 1,301 yards and 13 more scores, 1,523 kickoff return yards and 559 punt return yards with four total special teams touchdowns. He finished his career with an NCAA-record 7.3 yards per rushing attempt.
While Bush’s return will generate far more publicity, USC’s is also able to associate with former basketball player O.J. Mayo, who was hit with the same disassociation penalty. Mayo earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors in 2008, his only season at USC.