AFP--Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman Award winner, has announced his intentions to use his remaining eligibility and return to the college game for what he calls "a year to recoup, prepare for the NFL, and show the world just what I can do as a player. I hereby declare for the NCAA draft on February 1st, 2008."
Accepting offers: Reggie Bush.
Bush, a running back from 2003-2005 for the University of Southern California, said the decision was a difficult one, but necessary for his success in the long run.
"I realize that I need a little more time to prepare for the pro game, and will be accepting salary offers from D1 schools for the next month."
When reached for comment, compliance director for the NCAA John Babbage had his doubts about the validity of Bush's bid to become the first pro athlete to return to the pro ranks.
"First, it's against NCAA bylaws to pay players, something we're not sure Mr. Bush understands. Second, by declaring himself in the NFL draft after his junior year--and I'd have to check the rules on this, of course--he has likely forfeited his status as an amateur and has no remaining eligibility left."
Babbage added: "I'm also pretty sure we don't have a draft, either."
Bush did not address these issues in a 10 minute press conference held in his hometown of San Diego. He focused instead on the advantages of returning to the college ranks after spending some time in the pros.
"There's so much I've learned: technique, strategies, discipline. It's all so much better now. I feel like after the two years I've spent in New Orleans I can bring a lot to a college club, both in me being a team player with knowledge to give, and in the fact that I'm older and faster."
When asked about his financial situation, Bush shrugged off any concerns about returning to a lower pay scale at the college level.
"What people don't understand is that you can make a pretty good living at the college level. Look at Saban, Spurrier, Petrino...these guys know what I'm talking about. I figure I'll only be halving my salary based on the offers I've already got on the table."
Bush then laughed. "And the money at the college level is a lot, lot better than you'd imagine!"
Bush made $3.8 million as a rookie for the Saints, and would be voiding the remainder of his $62 million dollar salary package by leaving the Saints for college.
"It's losing money to make money later. As good as I was coming out of USC, imagine what I'll be the second time around. I've discussed this with my agent, my family, and my girlfriend. It's gonna pay off in the long run. I'm looking forward to being the best college running back in the nation again, and whoever's willing to pay for it will get exactly that."
Recruiting expert Tom Lemming said the case was a unique and revolutionary one.
"Well, he's pretty much done what he wanted from the start, so I can't see the NCAA doing anything to stop him from doing this, either. I really think Notre Dame would be the best fit for him."
Bush's girlfriend Kim Kardashian, reached by phone for comment, said: "College is for poor people!"
Kardashian's enormous fake buttocks had no comment.
Pete Carroll, USC coach, had no comment on the situation, either.