Reggie Bush has one of the more visible roles in college football media as a panelist on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff pregame show.
That kind of weekly network airtime is a real platform in the sport, which is why it’s extra interesting that Bush is going after the NCAA (and others) in an effort to have his college records reinstated, and his Heisman Trophy returned. That’s according to Bush himself, who tweeted a statement yesterday about his efforts on that front.
My statement… pic.twitter.com/kbyqXgHncf
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) July 1, 2021
While the statement notes that Bush has been trying to make contact for months with executives at the NCAA and the Heisman Trust, the timing of the release yesterday was surely not a coincidence. Bush was clearly making a point about how silly it is to vacate records and awards retroactively when athletes now are allowed to profit off of their name, image, and likeness.
Bush is on the shortlist of athletes who have the most legitimate grievances, too. Had these NIL rules (which are common sense and have been for decades, even if you do believe in some form of puritanical amateurism) been in effect when Bush was dominating at USC, he would have stood to profit more than just about any other college player ever. (Certainly since, say, 2000; he’s right there with Tim Tebow in terms of how much money he could have made with these rules.)
The new Bush push for his records and Heisman is well-timed, too; support for the NCAA’s draconian measures is at an all-time low, in every forum from Twitter to the United States Supreme Court. Obviously the new rule change doesn’t have much of a tangible impact on Bush’s case; he was punished under a different set of circumstances. That’s what makes the public relations campaign here more important, because the only way his records and trophies will be returned is if the various powers he’s appealing to decide to do it either as a goodwill gesture or as a way to avoid further scrutiny or pressure.
That’s where Bush’s platform comes into play, too; it’s not inconceivable that Bush could use his weekly pulpit to occasionally bring this up, which would certainly make for quite a storyline, and Bush has a lot of leverage in that sense.