Bush parents divorce complicates trophy return

Professional football player Reggie Bush is facing an obstacle in returning his 2005 Heisman Trophy: his parents’ divorce.

Denise Griffin, the mother of the New Orleans Saints player, filed for a divorce from her longtime husband Lamar Griffin this month after separating in 2010. Griffin, who is Bush’s stepfather and is credited with helping his stepson pursue his football career, is reportedly in possession of Bush’s 2005 Heisman trophy, according to The San Diego Tribune.

Bush was ordered to return the trophy, which he received while playing college football at the University of Southern California, after being found ineligible for the award due to multiple NCAA violations involving him and his family. For example, an investigation found that Bush’s parents lived rent-free in a Spring Valley home between 2005 and 2006 due to a business deal Lamar Griffin had made with a family friend and potential investor about a sports marketing agency featuring Bush as its star client. The NCAA determined the arrangement violated their rules of amateurism, leading to penalties for both Bush and USC.

The family loaned Bush’s Heisman Trophy to the San Diego Hall of Champions in March, which was retrieved by Lamar Griffin earlier this month. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that neither Lamar Griffin nor Bush returned phone calls regarding whether the trophy was being returned.

Denise and Lamar Griffin were married in 1989 and were both a visible presence during Bush’s rise from college to professional football stardom, according to multiple reports.