Sun, 12 Jul 2020

Bush, ESPN at odds after Playboy interview

Field Level Media
26 May 2020, 12:19 GMT+10

Reggie Bush asked ESPN to remove a story from its website on Monday after the outlet ran quotes Bush gave to Playboy in an interview published last week.

During the interview, the former Southern California star running back and Heisman Trophy winner was asked if he would ever consider going into coaching. The 35-year-old said no, and took the time to criticize the NCAA's recent support for student-athletes to sign endorsement contracts and receive payment for other work.

"Nope, no coaching for me," Bush said in response. "Maybe I'd take a front-office position, but I'm not trying to go back and coach. I would like to help people, but I'd rather just pop in for guidance. Guidance is the one thing that young athletes coming through the college system miss on so much. 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.

ESPN ran a story on the interview Monday, with the headline, "Reggie Bush says paying college athletes will 'destroy some people.'"

Later in the day, Bush tweeted, "Dear @espn I did not speak to you, I never gave you approval to write this story, this is not what I said nor the context I said it in, and your trying to use my name with this bogus headline for clickbait. Let's not allow this to happen again."

The network later issued a statement on air: "ESPN is trying to contact Reggie Bush for clarification."

Bush was a two-time All-American and two-time national champion with the Trojans. However, he handed back his 2005 Heisman Trophy and USC's 2004 national championship was vacated after an NCAA investigation found Bush and his family received improper benefits from a pair of agents while he was in college.

New Orleans selected Bush No. 2 overall in the 2006 draft. After five seasons with the Saints -- during which time Bush compiled 2,090 yards rushing and 2,142 yards receiving with 33 total touchdowns and was part of the Super Bowl XLIV-winning squad -- Bush spent two seasons each with Miami and Detroit, then a season in San Francisco and a final season in Buffalo. He had a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons, one each with the Dolphins and Lions.

In 134 career games (96 starts), Bush had 5,490 rushing yards, 3,598 receiving yards and 58 total touchdowns.

--Field Level Media

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