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Sanchez says Bush should be allowed to keep 2005 Heisman

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez seemed to reverse field Wednesday with his opinion on former USC teammate Reggie Bush returning the 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Sanchez was asked on "The Dan Patrick Show" if Bush should give back the Heisman after USC was sanctioned as a result of the running back's alleged acceptance of money and gifts while at the school.

Sanchez's response: "I don't think so."

And he didn't hesitate to elaborate.

"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."

Sanchez's position appears to have changed from June 2010, when he was asked on "The Jim Rome Show" if he was personally disappointed in Bush. Sanchez responded by saying that even though Bush was young, he should have put the program first.

"You know it's tough. And nobody wants to say anything bad about a teammate or anything," Sanchez, a freshman teammate of Bush's, said in the interview last year, via "And I think Reggie's a heck of a player, and I know he's a good guy. It was a tough position for him.

"You're young kids. You're really a kid. Sometimes when things are laid out in front of you like that, kids want to take. And it's really hard for them to say no. And you've just got to be smart and put the program first."

Bush, now with the New Orleans Saints, announded last September that he would forfeit the trophy, but he has yet to return it to the Heisman Trust. As of late June, the trophy remained on loan to the San Diego Hall of Champions.

USC returned its copy of the trophy after the NCAA handed the program a two-year bowl ban and huge scholarship cuts, finding Bush had accepted illegal benefits during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

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