Reggie Bush is ready to tell his side of the story in a new documentary from Believe Entertainment Group, the studio behind the Oscar-winning “Dear Basketball.”
Before he achieved NFL stardom as a running back for the New Orleans Saints, Bush was one of the top college football players in the country. But his time as one of the leading lights of USC football was marred by allegations that he and his family improperly received nearly $300,000 gifts while he was a student. As a penalty, Bush’s achievements on the field were erased from the NCAA record books and USC was forced to return his Heisman Trophy. Kirk Fraser (ESPN’s “30 for 30: Without Bias”) is set to direct the film, which will look at Bush’s role in leading USC to multiple national championships, as well as the scandal that overshadowed that legacy.
“Providing Reggie with the opportunity to tell his story, in his words and reclaim his legacy is a parable greater than this one man,” said Fraser. “The heart of this story will explore one of the most infamous controversies in college football history and reveal the ongoing contentious culture inside collegiate sports.”
As Fraser implies, the film has an added resonance given that universities are under pressure to loosen restrictions sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances that top athletes can secure. Top schools have profited handsomely from television deals and ticket sales for basketball, football and other popular college sports. After several states passed laws to enable players to monetize their celebrity and in the wake of an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling, the NCAA announced an interim policy last month that allows student athletes to accept money for the use of their name, image and likeness.
“After all these years I’m finally ready to tell my story, I hope this can help drive change with the next generation of student athletes,” said Bush. “We’re making some progress, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Believe Entertainment said it has been in conversation with Bush for more than a year as it developed the documentary.
“There is so much more to explore, and we all believe this documentary is going to resonate in a major way with young athletes and a very wide-reaching audience of both sports and non-sport fans,” said William H. Masterson III, co-founder, Believe Entertainment Group.
Bush will serve as executive producer of the documentary alongside Believe’s Masterson, Dan Goodman, Brian Hunt & Denise White. CAA will be responsible for selling the worldwide rights to the film.