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Sports museum says it has returned Heisman to Bush family

  • By NFL.com
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Reggie Bush -- or at least his family -- is back in possession of the now-infamous Heisman Trophy that the New Orleans Saints running back was supposed to return after the NCAA ruled that he accepted money and gifts while playing for USC, "The Dan Patrick Show" reported Monday.

As a result of the allegations against Bush, USC lost scholarships, among other sanctions, and returned their copy of the running back's Heisman, won in 2005. Bush also was supposed to return his trophy, which his family had loaned to the San Diego Hall of Champions.

In a statement released Friday, the museum said: "The San Diego Hall of Champions today returned Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy to the Bush family. In doing so, the organization feels it is best to direct any further questions to the Bush family or the Heisman Trust."

Bush has refused to comment on the trophy or his intent to return it to the Heisman Trust, which, according to sources, has contacted the running back about it.

That didn't stop New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez from telling "The Dan Patrick Show" last week that he believed his former USC teammate should be allowed to keep the trophy.

"I don't think anything you can do off the field, if it's not like a performancing-enhancing thing, I don't care what anybody gives you, whether you have 10 houses or a free meal at the lunch hall, I don't understand how that helps you become head and shoulders the best player maybe in the last decade in college football, maybe longer," Sanchez said. "I don't see how that translates onto the field. He won the thing on the field, so I don't know how you would give that back."

While Bush refuses to comment on the Heisman, he has been vocal about his desire to remain with the Saints, telling the Times-Picayune on Friday that he would be willing to renegotiate his contract to do so.

Bush is due $11.8 million in the final year of his current contract with New Orleans. It's a huge payday for a player who has struggled with injuries and consistency during his five-year NFL career.

The second overall pick in the 2006 draft, Bush has shown flashes of greatness in New Orleans but has never become the elite back many predicted during his star-making run at USC. A leg injury limited Bush to just eight games and a career-worst rushing total of 150 yards in 2010.

Despite that, there wouldn't be any shortage of willing suitors to bring Bush aboard if he were to part ways with the Saints. According to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles could be interested in the 28-year-old if he becomes available.

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