NEW YORK (AP) — And the Heisman Trophy winner for 2005 is – no one.
Rather than replace Reggie Bush, who returned his trophy after a scandal erupted, the officials who administer the award decided it would remain vacant for that year.
There was some initial talk that the trophy might go to former Texas quarterback Vince Young, who finished a distant second to Bush in the voting.
However, Heisman Trust President William Dockery told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday that the eight trustees never decided to take the trophy away from Bush nor did they receive any advance notice of Bush’s decision.
“We’re certainly not upset Reggie resolved the issue,” he said.
The Heisman board held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, but Dockery said there were no plans to make a final decision about Bush and the 2005 Heisman at that time.
Turns out they didn’t have to.
Before the meeting started, Bush announced he would make the unprecedented move of forfeiting the Heisman he won while starring at running back for Southern California. In June, after a four-year investigation, the NCAA ruled Bush was ineligible for the 2005 season for receiving improper benefits.
Players are required to be in good standing with the NCAA to be eligible for college football’s highest honor.
Even before Dockery said there would be no winner or revote for 2005, Young said he didn’t want the Heisman anyway.
“I would not want to have it, and don’t want the trophy. Like I said, 2005, Reggie Bush is the Heisman Trophy winner. Why would I want it?” he told reporters after Tennessee Titans practice in Nashville.
Dockery said Bush, now with the New Orleans Saints, met with some of the trustees in New York several weeks ago.
“Reggie requested a meeting,” Dockery said.
He didn’t disclose what was discussed, but did say Bush was given no indication the trust might strip him of the award because a decision had not been made.
“There wasn’t heavy discussion about it,” Dockery said. “We were waiting for the NCAA decision and potential appeals. There was no lean from the members as far as I can tell.”
USC was hit with heavy sanctions by the NCAA this summer after it determined Bush and his family had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from two fledgling California-based marketing agents.
The allegations were first reported by Yahoo! Sports in September 2006, months after Bush had already been drafted No. 2 overall by the Saints.
The NCAA and Pac-10 began investigating him and the USC football program soon afterward; Bush denied any wrongdoing.
In the statement he released through the Saints on Tuesday, Bush mentions “mistakes that I made” with no elaboration.
Still, Dockery is happy to put the matter to rest.
“Enough is enough,” he said. “Reggie admitted he made a mistake. He’s acted on it by giving up the award.”
AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.
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