Reggie Bush has officially filed a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA to clear his name.
According to reports, he wants to have his football records reinstated and get his 2005 Heisman Trophy back. During a press conference, the former University of Southern California said that this lawsuit comes after an NCAA spokesperson talked about Bush being involved in a "pay-for-play” scheme when he played at USC.
“Most recently, the NCAA has made a statement about me, accusing me of engaging in a pay-for-play arrangement, which is 100% not true,” Bush said. “Not only is it not true, but there is no evidence to even support that claim.”
His attorneys added that they have created an online petition asking the NCAA to “restore Reggie Bush’s collegiate records so he can reclaim his Heisman Trophy.”
“This action seeks to hold the NCAA accountable for its unlawful conduct and for the damages, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment it has caused Mr. Bush by the NCAA’s false and defamatory statement,” the lawsuit states.
In 2021, the NCAA allowed student-athletes to make money from their names, and likenesses through endorsements and appearances through their newly adopted NIL rules, however, the NCAA still does not allow pay-for-play arrangements.
The NCAA said in a statement, "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. 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,”
Although this clause is in effect, Bush’s case will not be reconsidered for having the NCAA’s decision reversed.