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Documentary about Reggie Bush, USC football scandal in the works

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A Reggie Bush documentary is in the works.

Variety reported Wednesday that the film “will look at Bush’s role in leading USC to multiple national championships, as well as the scandal that overshadowed that legacy.” Bush was a star running back at USC and won the Heisman Trophy in 2005, but was forced to forfeit his records and return his Heisman after it was determined that he and his family received extra benefits, including cash and a San Diego-area home, while he played for the Trojans.

The film is being produced by Believe Entertainment Group, the same studio that produced Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning “Dear Basketball.” Kirk Fraser is set to direct with Bush directly involved as an executive producer.

“Providing Reggie with the opportunity to tell his story, in his words and reclaim his legacy is a parable greater than this one man,” Fraser said in a press release. “The heart of this story will explore one of the most infamous controversies in college football history and reveal the ongoing contentious culture inside collegiate sports.”

Added Bush: “After all these years I’m finally ready to tell my story. I hope this can help drive change with the next generation of student-athletes. We’re making some progress, but there’s still a long way to go.”

The USC program was hit with severe sanctions and had to vacate all the games Bush played while ineligible — including the 2005 Orange Bowl that gave the Trojans the national title. On top of that, the NCAA forced USC to permanently disassociate itself from Bush, who went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL. That disassociation ended last year.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 07: FOX Sports analyst Reggie Bush talks with colleagues during the pre-game show for the Big Ten Conference Championship football game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on December 7, 2019, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
A documentary about Reggie Bush's time at USC is in the works, per Variety. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bush wants his Heisman Trophy returned

Earlier this month, as the NCAA suspended its long-standing rules prohibiting athletes from pursuing compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness, Bush released a statement saying he wants his Heisman Trophy returned and his records at USC reinstated.

“It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman Trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated,” Bush said in a statement.

Bush, who works as a college football analyst for FOX, said his efforts went largely unanswered. In his statement, Bush said he and his team reached out to both the NCAA and the Heisman Trust. With regard to the NCAA, Bush said he “received no help or got no response at all.”

A day later, the Heisman Trust said it would not reinstate Bush as the winner of the 2005 Heisman until Bush's accomplishments are officially recognized by the NCAA. 

“Bush’s 2005 season records remain vacated by the NCAA and, as a result, under the rule set forth by the Heisman Trust and stated on the Heisman Ballot, he is not eligible to be awarded the 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy,” The Heisman Trust said. “Should the NCAA reinstate Bush’s 2005 status, the Heisman Trust looks forward to welcoming him back to the Heisman family.”

In his three years at USC, Bush rushed for 3,169 yards, caught 95 passes for 1,301 yards and combined for 43 total touchdowns. Bush played a huge role on USC’s national title-winning team in 2004, his sophomore year. In his junior year, Bush rushed for 1,740 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 37 passes for 478 yards. He beat out Texas quarterback Vince Young in the Heisman voting.

Bush is the only player to have his Heisman vacated. He returned the trophy to the Heisman Trust in 2012, two years after the NCAA hit USC with severe sanctions.

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