In response to a 2021 statement made by an NCAA spokesperson alleging that Reggie Bush was involved in a "pay-for-play arrangement," the former USC star running back and two-time All-American is reportedly intending to file a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA on Wednesday.
Following a high-profile NCAA investigation that found he and his family members received illegal benefits -- including cash, travel expenses, and a San Diego home -- while Bush was a college player, Bush, who racked up 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons with the Trojans, had his 2005 Heisman Trophy vacated -- forfeited on his end in 2010 -- and his collegiate records erased.
Bush , a two-time national champion with USC (2003–04), requested that his records be restored in 2021 as a result of newly enacted name, image, and likeness legislation that lets college athletes receive payments from outside sources. The NCAA refused to review Bush's case, claiming that it does not review previous sanctions. In a statement to ESPN, an NCAA official referred to "pay-for-play arrangements" in explaining the association's choice.
The exact statement by the spokesperson was as follows, "Although college athletes can now receive benefits from their names, images, and likenesses through activities like endorsements and appearances, NCAA rules still do not permit pay-for-play type arrangements. The NCAA infractions process exists to promote fairness in college sports. The rules that govern fair play are voted on, agreed to, and expected to be upheld by all NCAA member schools."
This statement has prompted the athlete to file a defamation case against the NCAA. Bush’s representatives stated that the case would be based on the NCAA maliciously attacking Bush’s character through a completely false and highly offensive statement that was widely reported in the media and has irreversibly damaged Bush’s reputation.
In a scheduled press conference at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, Bush plans to discuss his defamation lawsuit. Todd McNair, the former position coach for Bush, and the NCAA reached a 2021 settlement regarding Bush's involvement in the infractions case. USC was compelled to distance itself from Bush for a decade that concluded in 2020.