Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush, Jr. (March 2, 1985), San Diego, California
American Football Player
Kim Kardashian (2009-2010)
2006-2010: New Orleans Saints
Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush, Jr. (born March 2, 1985) is an American football running back for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC), earned All-American honours twice, and was recognised as the top college running back. The New Orleans Saints chose him with the second overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. Bush won a Super Bowl title with the Saints in 2010.
Bush won multiple college football honours, including the 2005 Doak Walker and Walter Camp awards and the sport's most prestigious individual honour, the Heisman Trophy. However, allegations he received improper benefits were central to an NCAA investigation of the USC football program that led to severe NCAA sanctions against USC, including a two-year postseason ban and the vacating of wins from the 2004-2005 championship season. As a result, Bush voluntarily forfeited his Heisman Trophy.
Bush was born in 1985 in Spring Valley, California in the country of San Diego, and named for his biological father, Reginald Alfred Bush, Sr. He was a running back at Helix High School in La Mesa, California.
Bush received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Southern California, where he played for head coach Pete Carroll's USC Trojans football team from 2003 to 2005. When Carroll recruited Bush for USC, he envisioned using Bush as a five-way threat. The freshman quickly proved effective in carrying, catching, throwing and returning the ball. Bush was a consensus first-team Freshman All-American selection in 2003, and became the first Trojan since Anthony Davis in 1974 to lead the Pacific-10 Conference in kick-off returns. His 1,331 all-purpose yards set a USC freshman record. The ESPN Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year also amassed 521 yards rushing that year, with three touchdowns on 91 carries.
Alex Smith (who would later play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers) and Bush were both finalists for the 2004 Heisman, making it the first time a high school had two finalists at the same ceremony. In 2004, Bush finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was named the team's MVP. He earned consensus All-American honours and was a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He finished second on the team with 143 carries for 908 yards (6.3 avg) and six touchdowns, adding 509 yards and seven scores on 43 receptions (11.8 avg). Bush returned 21 kick-offs for 537 yards (25.6 avg) and 24 punts for 376 yards (15.7 avg) and a pair of touchdowns. He became the first Trojan since Marcus Allen to lead the Pac-10 in all-purpose yardage, totalling 2,330 yards. He also threw for one touchdown, tossing a 52-yard scoring strike.
In 2005 Bush was a unanimous first-team All-American and winner of the Heisman Trophy. He was also named the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. Offensive Player of the Year, and the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) Player of the Year. In addition to the Walter Camp Award, Bush also won the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the nation's best running back. He led the nation with an average of 222.3 all-purpose yards per game and finished fourth in the NCAA Division I-A ranks with an average of 133.85 rushing yards per game. He set the Pac-10 record for all-purpose yards in a game, with 513 (294 rushing, 68 receiving, 151 return) against the Fresno State Bulldogs on November 19, 2005. Bush also became known for the "Bush Push," which occurred on a game-winning score against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Bush led the Trojans with 1,740 yards on 200 carries (8.7 avg) with sixteen touchdowns and ranked third on the squad with 39 receptions for 481 yards (12.9 avg), including a pair of scores as a junior. He returned 18 punts for 179 yards (9.9 avg) and a touchdown, and gained 493 yards on 28 kick-off returns (17.6 avg).
Bush started only fourteen times in 39 games at USC. However, he finished tenth in NCAA Division I-A history with 6,541 all-purpose yards, racking up 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns on 433 carries (7.3 avg) and 1,301 yards with thirteen scores on 95 catches (13.7 avg). Bush returned 67 kick-offs for 1,522 yards and a touchdown, adding 559 yards and three scores on 44 punt returns (12.7 avg). He also completed one of three pass attempts for a 52-yard touchdown.
By the end of the 2005 season, Bush had amassed 2,611 all-purpose yards and scored 18 touchdowns (15 rushing, 2 receiving, 1 punt return). He was awarded the Heisman Trophy on December 10, 2005. He had 784 first-place votes while University of Texas Longhorns quarterback Vince Young finished second with 79 first-place votes, an overall edge in voting points of 2,541 to Young's 1,608. Teammate Matt Leinart came in third with 18 first-place votes. Bush had the second most first-place votes and the second-highest total points in the history of Heisman voting at that time, behind only O.J. Simpson's 855 in 1968. Bush became the 71st winner of the Heisman Trophy, and the seventh USC player to receive the award. In addition to his Heisman Trophy, Bush also won the Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Award, and was selected as the Pac-10's offensive player of the year.
On January 4, 2006, Bush and Leinart became the first pair of Heisman Trophy winners to play together in a single game, against the Longhorns in the Rose Bowl. Bush amassed a total of 279 all-purpose yards (82 rushing yards, 95 receiving yards, 102 kick-off return yards) and one touchdown, but he was overshadowed in a losing effort by Heisman runner-up Vince Young and Bush's teammate LenDale White, who led USC in rushing with 123 yards and three touchdowns. Bush also attempted to lateral when he was tackled after a long run, but the lateral fell to the ground and was recovered by the Longhorns. This game gave Bush a total of 6,890 all-purpose yards for his college career.
NCAA Investigation and Lawsuits
Just before the 2006 draft, reports surfaced raising questions about whether Bush's family received gifts in violation of NCAA policies. The school requested that the conference investigate the matter, and Bush denied any impropriety.
Sports agent Lloyd Lake sued Bush and his family in November 2007 for not repaying over $290,000 in gifts. Lake also agreed to cooperate with the NCAA. In April 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that the NCAA had merged its investigations of Bush and former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo into a single probe of the Trojans athletic programs. On December 28, 2009 it was announced that Bush had lost his bid for confidential arbitration in this matter and that the case would proceed to trial. The case was settled in April 2010.
On June 10, 2010, the NCAA announced major sanctions against USC. The NCAA found that Bush had received lavish gifts from Lake and his partner, Michael Michaels, from at least December 2004 onward, including a limousine ride to the 2005 Heisman Trophy presentation. As a result, USC was given four years of probation and forced to vacate its last two wins of the 2004 season, including the 2005 Orange Bowl, as well as all of its wins in the 2005 season. The Trojans were also banned from bowl games in 2010 and 2011 and will lose 30 scholarships over three years. Running backs coach Todd McNair was banned from off-campus recruiting for one year after the NCAA determined he had known about Bush's dealings with the agents. The NCAA also forced USC to permanently disassociate itself from Bush.
The NCAA found that, given Bush's high-profile status, USC should have invested more effort in monitoring Bush's relationships. In announcing the penalties, NCAA infractions committee chairman Paul Dee said, "High-profile players merit high-profile enforcement."
On July 20, 2010, incoming USC president Max Nikias stated that the school would remove from its facilities all jerseys and murals displayed in Bush's honour, and would return the school's copy of Bush's Heisman Trophy. On August 12, USA Today reported that Bush had called USC's new athletic director, Pat Haden, and apologised for making poor decisions that led to the NCAA sanctions. However, in a subsequent report in the Los Angeles Times, Haden said that the characterisation of Bush's call as an "apology" was incorrect; Haden described it as "a conversation of him being contrite, but not an apology", and he also noted that Bush had not admitted to any specific wrongful acts.
Amidst reports that the Heisman Trophy Trust would strip his award, Bush in September voluntarily forfeited his title as the 2005 winner. The Heisman Trust decided to leave the award vacated with no new winner to be announced. The San Diego Hall of Champions sports museum returned the copy of the award it possessed back to Bush's parents in 2011. Bush eventually returned his trophy to the Heisman Trust in 2012.
Awards and Recognition
- Awarded the 2005 Walter Camp Award and the 2005 Doak Walker Award.
- Won the Heisman Trophy in 2005, beating finalists Vince Young and former Heisman winner and teammate Matt Leinart. After a NCAA investigation in 2010 ruled he was ineligible to participate as a student-athlete at USC, Bush became the first player in the history of the Heisman Trophy to forfeit the award.
- Also in 2005, he was named the Pigskin Club of Washington D.C. Offensive Player of the Year.
- In celebration of their stellar college football careers, Bush and Leinart appeared on the cover of the December 25, 2005 issue of Sports Illustrated. The magazine anointed the pair as the "Best in College Football" in 2005.
- 17th player in NCAA history to gain over 2,000 all-purpose yards twice (2,330 yards in 2004 and 2,890 yards in 2005).
- He was featured on the cover of NCAA Football 2007, released on July 18, 2006.
- He was ranked No. 24 on ESPN's 25 Greatest Players in College Football list.
Track and Field Personal Bests
|50 meters||5.58||Los Angeles, California||February 15, 2003|
|100 meters||10.42||Cerritos, California||May 31, 2002|
|200 meters||21.07||Cerritos, California||
May 31, 2002
2006 NFL Draft
On January 12, 2006, Bush elected to forgo his senior season at USC and declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Draft analysts predicted that he would be the first overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, held by the Houston Texans. However, in a surprising move on the night before the draft, the Texans signed Mario Williams, a defensive end from North Carolina State University, meaning that Bush would not be the first draft pick. Bush's representatives spoke that night with the New Orleans Saints, who said they intended to use the second overall pick to select Bush.
Bush was indeed drafted by the Saints with the second overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. The Houston Texans' decision to not take Bush was derided by many sports analysts, At the time, ESPN commentator Len Pasquarelli claimed that Houston selecting Williams ahead of Bush was one of the biggest mistakes made in NFL Draft history.
On April 26, 2006, three days prior to the draft, Bush had signed a multi-year endorsement with Adidas to promote football and training clothes, and help the athletic sportswear company launch cleats in 2007.
New Orleans Saints
Bush's selection by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL draft generated excitement and celebration among Saints fans. By the end of the week after the draft, Reebok reported receiving over 15,000 orders for Bush's Saints jersey, even though his jersey number with the Saints had not yet been determined. Bush had petitioned the NFL to wear the number 5, which he had worn throughout his high school and college years. However, in order for him to wear that number, the NFL would have to revise its numbering regulations, which require running backs to wear a number between 20 and 49. Bush was allowed to wear the number 5 during the Saints' minicamp practices pending the NFL's ruling. On May 23, 2006, the NFL competition committee officially rejected his request, and on May 25 it was officially announced that Bush would be wearing number 25, acquired from Saints running back Fred McAfee. Although Bush had earlier pledged to donate a quarter of the money he received from jersey sales to Hurricane Katrina victims if allowed to wear the number 5, he later said he would make that donation no matter what number he wears. As part of the deal with McAfee to wear the number 25, Bush agreed to allocate half of that money to charities of McAfee's choosing, with the other half going to charities of Bush's choosing. McAfee pledged to donate his share to Katrina victims in his home state of Mississippi.
Bush is second to Peyton Manning in NFL endorsement deals, amounting to roughly $5 million annually. He has signed contracts with Pepsi, General Motors, Adidas, Pizza Hut and the Subway restaurant chain.
Amazed by the warm reception he received from the fans in New Orleans as well as the magnitude of the devastation caused there by Hurricane Katrina, Bush expressed excitement about playing with the Saints and pledged to help the city recover from the hurricane. On May 15, 2006, Bush donated $50,000 to help keep Holy Rosary High School, a Catholic school for students with learning disabilities, from closing. During training camp, Saints receiver Joe Horn dubbed him "Baby Matrix" because of his seemingly impossible evasive maneuvers (apparently comparing him to the movie The Matrix, which features characters who move faster than humanly possible to dodge bullets).
Bush's rookie season had both ups and downs, although as the season wore on he became more productive and integral to the Saints' surprising success. In the first game of Bush's NFL career, he amassed 141 total yards against the Cleveland Browns. He carried the ball fewer times than his counterpart Deuce McAllister, putting off any speculation that he would immediately supplant McAllister as the starter in New Orleans. The Saints won the game by a score of 19-14. In his team's week 9 contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bush finished the game with -5 yards on 11 carries despite the Saints' 31-14 victory. This effort lowered his league-worst rushing average among running backs to only 2.55 yards per carry. However, he finished the midway point of the season with 46 receptions, the most by any running back in the league.
At the midway point of the season, Bush had yet to score a touchdown either receiving or running the ball; however, on November 12, 2006, Bush rushed for his first touchdown from scrimmage on a reverse against the Pittsburgh Steelers. On December 3, Bush tied the Saints' single-game touchdown record, held by Joe Horn, by scoring four touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. He gained 168 all-purpose yards as he sparked the Saints to their eighth win of the season. On December 10, Bush scored a 62-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas, contributing to the Saints' 42-17 drubbing of the Cowboys in what was expected to be a more competitive matchup that would be important to the playoff race. On December 24, Bush scored a one-yard touchdown on a reverse against the New York Giants. Bush also had a career-high 126 rushing yards on the day. On December 31, Bush scored a one-yard touchdown against the Carolina Panthers but carried the ball only three times, even though backfield counterpart Deuce McAllister did not play. This was because the New Orleans Saints had already clinched the No. 2 NFC seed in the playoffs.
In the NFC Divisional Playoff game on January 13, 2007, Bush ran for 52 years on 12 carries and scored a touchdown, and added three catches for 22 yards, as New Orleans edged the Philadelphia Eagles 27-24 to earn its first NFC Championship Game appearance in the team's 40-year history. The game was also notable for the vicious hit that Bush absorbed from Sheldon Brown while attempting to catch a swing pass on the Saints' first play of the game. On January 21, in the NFC Championship playoff game, Bush caught a pass on the 22 and ran 78 yards downfield (eluding the Chicago Bears safety) for an 88-yard touchdown thrown by Drew Brees. This comeback was the first score of the second half and closed the gap from 16-7 (in favour of Chicago) to 16-14. That was the last time, however, the Saints would score. The Bears went on to trounce the Saints 39-14 to earn a berth to the Super Bowl.
Bush was fined by the NFL after the game for $5,000 for taunting: which consisted of wagging his finger at All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher and doing a somersault after the 88-yard reception score. Bush apologised immediately after the event.
In the season opener of the 2007 season, Bush and the Saints lost to the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts 41-10. Bush was tied for a team-best 38 rushing yards on 12 carries. He also had seven yards on four receptions and a punt return for two yards in a disappointing opener for him and the Saints. Their next game was equally as disappointing, as the Saints were beaten 31-14 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bush averaged 2.7 yards per carry and 27 yards from scrimmage, over a third of which came on one play. Bush scored two rushing touchdowns, both one-yard runs, in the Saints' Week 3 loss to the Tennessee Titans. In that game, Bush carried seven times for 15 yards while catching six passes for 20 yards. Bush finished the season with six total touchdowns and 581 yards rushing, averaging 3.6 yards per carry. Bush missed the final four games of the 2007 season with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Bush and the New Orleans Saints faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the 2008 season. With Deuce McAllister out due to injury, Bush started the game. He showed great improvement early in the season, particularly during Week 3 against the Denver Broncos, in which he had 18 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns, one touchdown that included a run up the middle, cutting back to the outside for 23 yards. He added a second touchdown on a six-yard swing pass from Drew Brees near the goal line. Bush ended the game with 11 receptions for 75 yards and one receiving touchdown. Since he came into the league, no running back has caught more passes out of the backfield than Bush, who collected 171 receptions in his first two years. On October 6, in a home game against the Minnesota Vikings, he returned two punts for touchdowns and nearly had a third, tying an NFL record for single-game punt returns for touchdowns and becoming the 12th player to do so. In a home game against the Oakland Raiders on October 12, Bush tied the NFL record for fastest time to his 200th catch, doing so in only 34 games.
Bush was injured in the October 19 game against the Carolina Panthers. He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee the next day and was expected to miss the next three to four games. Bush returned on November 30 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and registered three carries for no yards and five catches for 32 yards in a 23-20 Saints loss. However, one week later he was back on track, producing over 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD catch in an important 29-25 home win against the division rival Atlanta Falcons to keep the Saints' slim playoff hopes alive.
On December 11, Bush sprained his medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the Saints' 27-24 overtime loss in Chicago. Although diagnosed as a sprain, given that it was the same knee he had surgery on earlier in the year, and that the Saints were now out of the playoff picture with only two games left in the 2008 season, Bush was placed on injured reserve, ending his season early for the second year in a row. He finished the season with 404 rushing yards on 106 carries, 440 yards receiving with 52 receptions and nine total touchdowns, playing in ten games. On January 7, 2009, the New Orleans Saints confirmed that Bush had surgery on his left knee, and would require months of rehabilitation. However, Bush was expected to be ready for minicamp in June.
2009 and Super Bowl Season
On August 16, 2009, Bush left practice due to continuing problems with his left knee, later to return with his knee wrapped in an icepack. Bush and the Saints said that he iced the knee as a precaution. Bush missed the last three games of the 2009 preseason due to a calf injury and to rest his surgically repaired knee. Team officials called it precautionary in nature and stated that Bush would be ready to play during the regular season.
Bush missed games 11 and 12 of the regular season due to soreness in his surgically repaired knee. He also missed most of game 15 due to a minor hamstring injury.
Bush experienced career lows in every major category for the 2009 season. While he had 8 total touchdowns, good for 3rd on the team, Bush was used sparingly during the year. Bush ended the year playing in 14 games with 70 carries for 390 yards and 5 touchdowns, and 47 receptions for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns.
On January 16, 2010, in the NFC divisional playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, Bush had one of the best games of his pro career. He rushed for 84 yards on only 5 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown run. The play was the longest run by a New Orleans Saints player in the postseason. He also added on 83-yard punt return touchdown late in the third quarter, the Saints' last score in their 45-14 win.
In the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings on January 24, Bush had only 8 yards rushing on 7 carries with 2 receptions for 33 yards, and he fumbled a punt return. However, one of his receptions was a late touchdown that helped the Saints win their first NFC championship and their first Super Bowl appearance and eventual victory in franchise history. On February 7, 2010, Bush won his first Super Bowl with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Miami.
Bush's 2010 season was overshadowed by the controversy over his Heisman Trophy, as well as other matters related to his years at USC. During his second regular-season game, a Monday Night Football contest with the San Francisco 49ers, he was injured while returning a punt. He did not return to the game. The injury was diagnosed as a broken bone in his right led and he was expected to miss at least six weeks. He returned on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys.
On July 28, 2011, the Saints traded Bush to the Miami Dolphins for reserve safety Jonathan Amaya and a swap of 6th round draft picks. After an 0-7 start, during the Dolphins' first win of the 2011 season against the Kansas City Chiefs, Bush scored his first rushing touchdown since 2009. Bush also had his second career 100-yard game against the New York Giants having rushed for 103 yards on just 15 carries. In Week 13 Bush rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in a 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders. Bush would again eclipse the 100-yard mark in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles the following week, rushing for 103 yards on just 14 carries. On December 18, Bush rushed for a career-high 203 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in a 30-23 win over the Buffalo Bills. Bush would rush for 113 yards on 22 carries on Christmas Eve in a losing effort at the New England Patriots. Early in the game, he eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season for the first in his pro career.
After a solid week one against the top-hier Houston Texans, Bush broke out on the ground with 172 yards on a career-high 26 carries and two rushing touchdowns, as well as 25 reception yards, in a 35-13 win over the Oakland Raiders. Bush was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for week 2, the second time since joining the Miami Dolphins, and third time in his career (once in 2006 with the New Orleans Saints).
Bush signed with the Detroit Lions on March 13, 2013. Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole reported that Detroit plans to utilise Bush as a "three-down back" and Bush described playing for the Lions as a "running back's dream."
Media Career and Personal Life
French mobile game publisher Gameloft announced on November 21, 2006 that it had signed Bush as its cover athlete for Reggie Bush Pro Football 2007, which was made available in January 2007 across multiple wireless carriers and cell phones. This marked the second cover endorsement for Bush, who was the cover athlete of Electronic Arts' NCAA Football 07. Gameloft did not secure the NFL license for this mobile game, which means that actual team names, logos and NFLPA players (aside from Bush) were not incorporated into the gameplay. In 2007, he appeared in Ciara's music video "Like a Boy".
On June 26, 2007, David Beckham's first major U.S. TV ad campaign since joining the Los Angeles Galaxy made its debut via the web. Titled "Futbol Meets Football", it paired Beckham with Bush in a 13-part video series, with additional television, radio and online promotion by Adidas.
In August 2007, he signed a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio to be a weekly announcer for the 2007 season.
At one time Bush dated WWE Diva Eve Torres while at USC. Bush then dated Kim Kardashian. Their relationship began after being introduced by Matt Leinart at the July 11, 2007 ESPY Awards. They split on July 27, 2009 and got back together on September 28, 2009. They split again in late March 2010.
Bush was nominated for Male Athlete of the Year at the 2007 and 2009 BET Awards.
Bush was featured almost shirtless on the February 2010 cover of Essence as part of an issue about "Black Men, Love & Relationships." However, this appearance generated controversy as some among the magazine's readers took offense to Bush on the cover of such an issue, at the time he was involved with Kim Kardashian and Bush was accused of only dating non-black women.
Also in 2010, Bush's fundraising work for organisations that benefit Haiti and diamond-producing countries in Africa earned him a nomination for the VH1 Do Something Awards. Specifically, Bush worked on behalf of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, visiting Botswana and South Africa and raising money for education there. He is a founding member of the Fund's Athletes for Africa program. The awards show, produced by VH1, is dedicated to honouring people who do good and is powered by Do Something, an organisation that aims to empower, celebrate and inspire young people.
In August 2011, Reggie starred in an episode of Same Name where he stayed with the Bush's family for four days. In this episode, Reggie helping to coach the Schlarman high school football team and by the end of his stay he present them with a refurnished changing room, as well as flight the Bush's family to Hawaii for a week and give Cindy her college applications.
In March 2012, Reggie became a partner and spokesperson for skincare company Barc, makers of Bump Down Razor Bump Relief.
In October 2012, it was reported that Bush and his girlfriend of over a year, Lilit Avagyan, were expecting their first child together.