After 10 years, former USC Trojans running back Reggie Bush’s disassociation from the university is expected to soon come to an end, sources told ESPN.
The timing comes as a result of an NCAA Committee on Infractions rule, adopted in 2017, that limits any mandated disassociations between an individual and a school to no more than 10 years. Bush’s disassociation — which came as part of sweeping sanctions that included a two-year postseason ban, 14 vacated victories (including the 2004 BCS national championship) and the loss of 30 scholarships — began on June 10, 2010.
Once the 10-year period is over, according to COI procedures, the NCAA will no longer “monitor or enforce” disassociations and will give individual schools the freedom to decide how to proceed, whether that’s to extend the disassociation or to end it.
Nothing is official between Bush and USC, but the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is in the process of finalizing an agreement that would allow him to be reinstated with the school, a source said.
A USC spokesperson could not confirm Bush’s looming reinstatement when contacted by ESPN.
The sanctions came in the wake of a four-year extra-benefits investigation that determined Bush and family members, while he was a student-athlete, accepted cash, travel expenses, and a home in the San Diego area where Bush’s parents lived rent-free for more than a year and which they were provided $10,000 to furnish. Bush returned his Heisman Trophy.
During the past 10 years, Bush has not been welcome on USC’s campus or been involved with the Trojans’ program in any capacity. Bush’s name, stats and accomplishments did appear throughout USC’s most recent media guide; however, asterisks were attached to his name to note his participation was vacated because of an NCAA penalty.
“It was a horrible feeling, one of the worst feelings in the world,” Bush recently told The Athletic about the sanctions USC faced. “It felt like I died when I had to hear that there weren’t gonna be scholarships for kids because of me or because of something connected to me.
“I’m still not over that. It’s just something you learn to live with.”
In September, Bush was permitted to return to the Coliseum for USC’s game against Utah in his role as a broadcaster for Fox Sports.
At this stage, it is unclear how quickly Bush’s reinstatement will be finalized and what it would look like, with questions about how present he would be around the program and the possible retirement of his dormant No. 5 lingering.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.