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Johnny Manziel will boycott Heisman ceremony until Reggie Bush gets his trophy back

At every Heisman Trophy ceremony, past winners attend, and the presence of so many all-time great college football players adds to the importance of the event. But one past winner, Reggie Bush, has been barred. And now another past winner, Johnny Manziel, is standing up for Bush.

Manziel announced today that he will boycott the Heisman ceremony until the Heisman Trust reinstates Bush, who forfeited his 2005 trophy and gave it back to the Heisman Trust after the NCAA found that he violated rules by receiving gifts from an agent while he was playing for USC.

“After careful thought and consideration I will be humbly removing myself from the Heisman trophy ceremony until @ReggieBush gets his trophy back,” Manziel wrote on social media. “Doesn’t sit right with my morals and values that he can’t be on that stage with us every year. Reggie IS the Heisman trophy. Do the RIGHT thing @NCAA the ball is in your court.”

The ball isn’t completely in the NCAA’s court, as the Heisman Trust is separate from the NCAA and could give Bush his Heisman back without the NCAA’s participation. But it was an NCAA finding that led the Heisman Trust to tell Bush to give the trophy back, and if the NCAA were to reverse course and welcome Bush back into the fold, the Heisman would likely follow suit.

If enough players follow Manziel’s lead, that could make a big difference. The college football world focuses on New York City every December for the Heisman ceremony as an annual celebration of the sport. If enough other past winners were to join Manziel’s boycott, the NCAA and the Heisman Trust might decide it’s time to give Bush his trophy back.