Reggie Bush: Paying College Athletes Will ‘Destroy Some People’

Reggie Bush
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Former USC running back and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, believes that the NCAA endorsed plan to pay college athletes for use of their name, image, or likeness, “is going to destroy some people.”

Bush, a college football analyst with Fox who had to forfeit the Heisman after it was learned that he and his family received impermissible benefits, made the comments in a recent interview with Playboy.

Though, Bush believes the initial reaction to his comments do not reflect the context in which he gave them. Bush tweeted on Monday that “this is not what I said nor the context I said it.”

Bush’s actual statement to Playboy seems to show that he was referencing the mindset of players who may receive money, not whether they deserved to receive money.

“Guidance is the one thing that young athletes coming through the college system miss on so much,” Bush told Playboy. “I missed on it. They’re about to start paying college athletes. This is something that has never been experienced before, and it’s going to destroy some people if their foundation is not in the right place.”

According to ESPN:

The NCAA’s board of governors announced last month that it supports a proposal to allow college athletes to sign endorsement contracts and receive payment for other work, provided that the schools they attend are not involved in any of the payments.

The NCAA says athletes will be allowed to appear in advertisements and can reference their sport and school, but they would not be able to use school logos or branding in those advertisements.

A formal proposal for the new rules is scheduled to be submitted no later than October to the NCAA board, which will vote on the proposal no later than January 2021.

“The one thing I wish I had early in my career is proper financial knowledge,” Bush said. “I hired good agents, and I hired a good team. But I allowed that good team to make decisions for me. I’m not saying I’m going bankrupt, but if I had the proper knowledge back then, some things would be different.

“People just assume, ‘Well, you got all this money, so you’re good.’ It’s actually the opposite. The more money you have, the more danger you’re in, because now you’re a freaking open target for a lot of people. It’s a nasty world out there, and it’s about to get nastier. You’re going to really start to see the true colors of a lot of people, and a lot of businesses too. You’re going to see people doing some crazy stuff to make money, because our market is crashing.”

Bush was a two-time All-American at USC and a star player on the school’s 2003 and 2004 national championship teams. The former college star played 11 years in the NFL before retiring in 2017.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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