It’s been a 10 long years, but one of the greatest players in USC history is finally back. The Trojans officially welcomed back Reggie Bush, ending the disassociation that was required by the NCAA sanctions handed down as a result of their investigation tied to Bush. The news of the possibility started swirling back in October of last year. Yesterday the news broke that USC would end it’s disassociation the moment Wednesday hit. Wednesday morning USC released a statement as well as a tribute video welcoming back Bush.
The return of Bush has the created a buzz around the college football world. He played a huge part in the resurgence of the Trojans football program. From 2003-2005 Bush has wowed many with his highlight moves and big play ability. One of the most electric running backs in college football history left a lasting mark that continues to this day. Now that Bush is back, what will it mean for USC?
When the news broke on Tuesday evening, many fans, former, and current USC players took to social media to give Bush an early welcome back. The impact that Bush left during his playing days at USC has left a lasting mark. While the university was forced to distance themselves from Bush, the memories were still there for fans. No. 5 jerseys graced the USC campus and Coliseum on every game day. Even current players, who weren't old enough to watch Bush play live, show some type of tribute to him. The return will now allow USC to properly recognize and appreciate Bush the way he should. His image, records, and jersey can finally return to it’s rightful place.
It’ll also mean that Bush and the USC Football program can now have a formal relationship with no penalty. The last time we saw any type of interaction between the former Heisman trophy and USC was during the Trojans victory over Utah in early October. Bush and Markese Stepp embraced each other following a score to increase the Trojans lead. Unfortunately it was very brief and it got USC an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. During the time Bush was allowed to cover the game as an analyst on Fox, but was still not allowed to have any contact with USC due to NCAA sanctions. Head coach Clay Helton has already welcomed Bush back via Instagram. You can bet that he’ll take advantage and bring Bush around the football program. Current players will also have a access to him to learn from someone who looked up to and have influenced. Many players have mentioned that Bush was a reason why they came to USC to begin with. No mention of Bush could be made due to the NCAA disassociation.
The return of Reggie Bush will also signal the end of the sanction era that haunted USC. Bush’s disassociation from the university continued to be the one black eye that was left from those sanctions. Nothing will erase those sanctions or the damage that was done, but brining back one of the greatest players in college football history is a good start.
Now that Reggie Bush is back, what’s next? We’ve already seen the posts as well as a statement from USC athletic director Mike Bohn and president Carrol Folt. Most likely we will see him lead the team onto the field at the Coliseum next season, assuming that there will be a season with fans to begin with. We know the moment the team can get together he’ll get a chance to speak to the team during one of their meetings. You’ll also see his No. 5 jersey and accolades inside of Heritage Hall. You know those USC jerseys that Nike make with each legendary players number? Expect to see a No. 5 jersey hit the shelves soon at the bookstore. If you attend a USC game, expect to see highlights of Bush on the big screen with the program finally being able to acknowledge him. Perhaps an official jersey retirement ceremony? We do know that the No. 5 jersey will return to the peristyle of the Coliseum.
One thing is certain. The return of Bush will have a huge impact on USC moving forward.