Former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush is among the first-time nominees eligible to be selected on the the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame ballot. If he is elected, the college honor would be Bush’s biggest since his role in a crippling USC probation applied by the NCAA 11 years ago led to him being stripped of the Heisman.
As part of those penalties, Bush — a two-time All-American — was permanently disassociated from USC in 2010. The NCAA ended that disassociation last June. After that concluded, USC officially nominated Bush for hall of fame consideration for the first time. He is one of 25 other players up for selection for the first time.
Bush becomes a nominee 16 years after playing his last college game and six years after being eligible based on the hall of fame’s requirements.
“Obviously those was great teams he was on and he as a great player,” National Football Foundation executive director Steve Hatchell said. “We don’t reach and pick guys. The schools have to nominate.”
If Bush is elected, he could be one of three players with USC ties to be inducted in consecutive years. Former Heisman-winning quarterback Carson Palmer was elected to the 2021 class, and current USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell has been nominated for the first time as a former Texas Tech quarterback.
“We have an unwritten rule we don’t take guys [from the same school] back-to-back,” Hatchell said.
Bush is one of two 2022 first-time nominees directly implicated in off-field violations. In 1999, Florida State wide receiver Peter Warrick was arrested for underpaying for merchandise at a Dillard’s in Tallahassee, Florida. He was suspended for two games. At the time, he was the Heisman front-runner during FSU’s national championship run that season. He finished sixth in the voting.
Bush returned his 2005 Heisman after USC was handed a two-year postseason ban and docked 30 scholarships by the NCAA in June 2010.
To be eligible for the hall, players must be voted a first-team All-American. The National Football Foundation also states “while each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as citizen is also weighed.”
In all, 78 players and seven coaches were nominated from the FBS. Among the coaches nominated are former Miami national championship coach Larry Coker.