Reggie Bush, the famed college football and NFL running back, initiated a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA. This legal action is being pursued with the representation of his legal teams at North Texas-based McCathern, PLLC, and Ben Crump Law.
Dallas-headquartered McCathern also has a location at The Star in Frisco. McCarthern is featured on Local Profile’s top lawyers list.
According to McCathern, the foundation of the case rests on the NCAA's “maliciously attacking” Bush’s character. The firm is alleging that the statement from the NCAA, which garnered extensive coverage in the media, inflicted significant and irreparable harm to his reputation.
On July 28, 2021, the NCAA, acting through an official spokesperson, allegedly made a misleading statement to the press. This statement falsely claimed that due to Bush's past participation in a "pay-for-play arrangement," the NCAA had no intention of reconsidering the reinstatement of his college records, which were nullified in 2010. This decision eventually led to Bush being compelled to return his Heisman Trophy, marking him the first player in history to take such an action.
“The NCAA’s statement is completely false and highly offensive,” the statement from McCathern said. “The NCAA knew Mr. Bush was never even accused of, involved in, much less sanctioned for any “pay-for-play arrangement” which never occurred.”
Despite a previous, and according to McCathern, now discredited investigation in 2010, the NCAA claimed Bush accepted minor benefits from a non-existent sports marketing agency during his University of Southern California (USC) tenure. The lawsuit alleged that both the NCAA and its spokesperson were aware when making the false statement that the investigation didn't establish Bush's involvement in "pay-for-play" during his USC years, and the investigation had significant flaws that undermined its reliability.
In 2022, following the investigation, Bush attempted to challenge the NCAA's penalties through an appeal. However, the NCAA dismissed his appeal, arguing that he lacked the necessary standing and was not considered a directly involved party. The NCAA asserted that only USC held the authority to contest the penalties. More recently, both USC and Bush jointly resubmitted their appeal to the NCAA. They aim at overturning the "sloppy" and "unprofessional" investigation, which was "materially false" in several aspects. Their goal is to reinstate his eligibility and recover the records and accomplishments earned during his tenure at USC.
Bush initiated the recent legal action in Marion County, Indiana, where the NCAA's main office is located. Representing Bush in this lawsuit are Levi G. McCathern and Ty M. Sheaks from McCathern, PLLC, along with noted civil rights lawyer Ben Crump from Ben Crump Law PLLC and Andrew W. Hull from Hoover Hull Turner, LLP.