While Reggie Bush continues to deny all allegations against him during his time at the University of Southern California, he has stated that he will adamantly support his Alma mater as they appeal the sanctions set down upon them by the NCAA for infractions committed by the Heisman Trophy running back.
“This thing, regarding USC and the NCAA, is the closest thing to death without dying because I have such a great love and respect for the university,” Bush remarked. “This has been one the toughest things I’ve had to deal with in my life.”
This was the first time that Bush spoke publicly about the issues relating to the sanctions the NCAA imposed on USC and the football programs, including forfeiting wins, a two-year bowl ban, losing scholarships and restrictions on recruiting among other punishments.
“I believe that there’s a lot of untold truth to this matter, there’s a lot of fabricated lies to this matter, but it is what it is and I can’t sit here and cry about it. I can’t sit here and make up excuses,” Bush stated. “Ultimately, it’s a responsibility that’s placed on USC and my shoulders. It’s because of me. So all I can do is continue to try to help them and move forward with the situation.
“God works in mysterious ways and at the end of the day I think this, too, shall pass and hopefully we can grow stronger from this.”
The penalties were made public last week when the NCAA issued their findings in a report. The 2004-05 year in question, Bush won the Heisman Trophy and USC captured the national championship.
Whether or not Bush loses the Heisman Trophy remains to be determined.
“Obviously, with the current penalty, it sucks because the kids there now have to deal with that and you never want to be in the position where you’ve affected a kid’s career or the future of a high school player who has a dream to go to USC,” Bush said. “That’s not a good feeling. Obviously, like I said earlier, we’re going to do everything we can with the appeal and we feel strongly about winning the appeal.”
Bush currently plays for the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, who have backed up their star running back, as well as his former USC teammates.
“My teammates have been none other than extremely supportive of me and even my teammates when I was there at USC, sending me text messages and just supporting me and having my back in this matter and that means a lot,” Bush said. “That goes a long way, because once you go through those things that we went through together, once we built the relationships and the foundation that we built together, those are things you can never take away. That’s what I look forward to the most, is just having that relationship forever with my USC family and with my current Saints family.”
As the Trojan football program looks to move forward from this, they were among the betting favorites prior to the sanctions to win the 2010-11 BCS National Championship on Online Sportsbooks.