The complete Reggie Bush-USC timeline: From Heisman to investigation to return to Troy

Reggie Bush’s history at USC is as long and complicated as it is exciting and nostalgic. Nearly 15 years have passed since Bush played his last game as a Trojan, and a decade has passed since the announcement of the NCAA sanctions that prevented USC from associating with Bush.

But with the news on wednesday that USC welcomes the former Heisman Trophy-winning traffic jam back to campus, you may need to brush up on exactly how we got to this point. So here’s a timeline of Bush’s history with USC:


January 5th: Bush, the country’s No. 2-rated prospect, according to, commits to USC. The highlight of La Mesa Helix also included offers from Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, Texas and Washington.

July 7: Bush registers with USC for his first season.

August 30: Bush makes his college debut in a 23-0 win over number 6 Auburn. His game stats: five carries for nine yards and one reception for a loss of six yards.

the 13th of September: Bush scores his first two touchdowns, both coming in with a 61-32 win over Hawaii at the Coliseum.

December 6: USC defeats Oregon State 52-28 in the regular season final to achieve the Pac-10 title. But the Trojans are left outside of the BCS Championship game by computer rankings that place Oklahoma and LSU above USC, despite USC ending the regular season at No. 1 on the AP poll.

After the season, Bush is named a consensus first-team Freshman All-American after setting a USC freshman record with 1,331 all-purpose yards.


January 1st: USC defeats No. 4 Michigan 28-14 in the Rose Bowl, securing No. 1 spot in the AP poll and a national championship claim, albeit disputed by LSU. Bush rushes eight times for 41 yards into the game and makes two catches for 42 while returning two kicks and two punts.

August 28: What could be considered Bush’s breakout game at the USC, he sees a bigger role in his first game as a sophomore. Bush makes five receptions for 127 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-13 win over Virginia Tech.

November 13: USC defeats Arizona 49-9 to achieve the Pac-10 Championship.

December 4: Bush posts his first hasty 200-yard appearance, while his two touchdowns help USC ward off the rival UCLA 29-24 and take a spot in the BCS Championship game.

After the season, Bush is named a consensus All-American and shares the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year award with the Trojan quarterback and teammate Matt Leinart. He is the first Trojan since Marcus Allen to lead the Pac-10 in a 2,330 universal yardage.

December 11: Bush finishes fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting, with Leinart winning the award.


January 4: USC defeats Oklahoma No. 2 55-19 in the Orange Bowl to win the championship. In the game, Bush runs six times for 75 yards and makes two catches for 31.

September 3: USC begins its campaign for a third consecutive national championship with a 63-17 win over Hawaii. Bush has a total of 144 all-purpose yards and two hasty touchdowns.

October 15: USC defeats No. 9 Notre Dame 34-31, with Leinart scoring a quick touchdown on the last game of the game using a push in the back of Bush as Leinart attempted to break a tackle on the goal line. The controversial ending led to the meeting being referred to as “The Bush Push Game”.

November 19: Bush has the best statistical achievement of his career in a 50-42 win over No. 16 Fresno State. In the game, Bush runs 23 times for 294 yards and two touchdowns, adding three receptions for 68 yards.

December 3: USC achieves Bush’s third Pac-10 title in three years and a spot in the BCS title game in the Rose Bowl with a 66-19 win over number 11 UCLA. In the last game before Heisman voted, Bush rushed 24 times for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

Bush ends the 2005 regular season with 187 carries for 1,658 yards (8.9 per carry) and 15 rushing touchdowns with 383 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

December 10: Bush wins the Heisman Trophy, beating Texas quarterback Vince Young and Leinart for the honor. Bush, the seventh winner in USC history, takes the opportunity to thank Leinart in his acceptance speech for returning for his peak season. “Matt, what else can I say?” Bush says. “Your decision to come back changed my life.”

Bush is also named as a unanimous All-American first team and wins the Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the best rider in the country.


January 4: USC loses 41-38 to Texas in the BCS title game in the Rose Bowl after an exciting performance by Young, who rushed to the finish zone with 19 seconds to go to the finish zone for the winning score. Bush produces 177 all purpose yards and a quick landing in the game.

January 12: Bush declares for the NFL draft at a ceremony on campus, forgo his senior season. With his backfield partner LenDale White also explaining for the design, Bush says, “Now ‘Thunder and Lightning’ are gone from USC.”

April 23: An initial report from Yahoo! Sport raises questions about potential financial benefits Bush and his parents may have received when he was at USC. In particular, the report finds that Bush’s parents lived rent-free in a house owned by marketing agent Michael Michaels, who wanted to represent Bush after his collegiate career. The Pac-10 and NCAA announce investigations whether Bush and his family accepted inappropriate benefits.

April 29: Bush is chosen second overall by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL draw.

September 15: A Yahoo! Sports research finds that Bush and his family accepted financial benefits of more than $ 100,000 from marketing agents at USC. Michaels and Mike Ornstein competed for Bush’s services, only for Bush to choose Ornstein, causing an argument between Bush and his family and Michaels. “I can’t really comment on this right now because it’s NCAA owned,” USC head coach Pete Carroll tells the LA Daily News at the time.


30 October: Agent Lloyd Lake, a former Michaels business associate, is suing Bush and his parents to recoup $ 291,600 in cash and gifts they allegedly took from him during Bush’s second and second seasons. Lake agrees to cooperate with the NCAA Bush investigation.


January 11: Yahoo! Sports reports that the NCAA has completed its investigation into USC, an investigation that Reggie Bush’s allegations and allegations against former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo. On the same day, USC football head coach Pete Carroll resigns to take up the job of head coach with the Seattle Seahawks.

February 7: Bush and the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 to win Super Bowl XLIV, the only Super Bowl win in Bush’s career. In the game, Bush rushed five times for 25 yards and caught four passes for 38.

April 21: Bush settles the Lake lawsuit out of court to put an end to the possibility that the NCAA will review deposit transcripts.

June 10th: NCAA announces major sanctions against USC, noting that Bush has received payments from Michaels and Lake since December 2004 and that USC has acted with a lack of institutional control. The NCAA says Bush has received benefits including a limousine ride to the 2005 Heisman ceremony, hotel rooms, and a rent-free home for the Bush family.

Among the sanctions imposed on the USC by the NCAA:

• Leaving 14 wins, including the BCS Championship win over Oklahoma.

• The loss of 30 scholarships over three years.

• A two-year ban on the program.

• Four-year probationary period.

• USC is forced to permanently disconnect from Bush.

• Running backs coach Todd McNair gets a one-year ban on off-campus recruiting.

Bush issues a statement saying, “I have a great love for the University of Southern California and I regret the turn this case has taken, not only for USC, but also for fans and players. I am disappointed by today’s decision and do not agree with the NCAA’s findings. If the university decides to appeal, I will continue to work with the NCAA and the USC, as I did during the research. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on making a positive impact for the university and for the community where I live. ”

USC announces plans to appeal a number of sanctions.

July 20: New USC President Max Nikias announces that the school will remove all of Bush’s jerseys and murals on campus and in the Colosseum and return the school copy of Bush’s Heisman trophy.

September 14: Bush announces that he will voluntarily lose the title of winner of the 2005 Heisman Trophy. “One of the biggest awards in my life was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005,” he said in a statement. “Each individual carries the legacy of the award and everyone has a good reputation. For these reasons, I made the difficult decision to give up my 2005 title as Heisman winner. Two days later, the Heisman Trust announces that the award will be vacant and will not be awarded to number two (Young).


August 15: Bush returns his trophy to the Heisman Trust.


December 15: Bush announces his retirement from the NFL after 11 seasons with the Saints, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills.


September 20: Bush returns to the Colosseum as a television analyst for Fox Sports. It is the the first time he attended a USC game since his permanent divorce from the program, he’s been greeted by fans who recite his name, while some wear his red number 5 jersey. When USC Markese Stepp falls back, the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter scores Stepp points to Bush and runs to give the former Trojan a hug.

October 10: In an interview with, USC interim athletic director Dave Roberts explains that a 2017 rule change reduces permanent dissociation to a 10-year disassociation, meaning USC may decide to end the dissociation with Bush in June 2020.


June 10th: USC publishes an announcement Bush is again part of the Trojan family.

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