The speculation can end and the message board arguments can be put to bed.
The question has been asked and answered: You will not see the number five in cardinal and gold anytime soon.
Steve Sarkisian told me tonight that no one will wear No. 5 next season at #USC “That’s not gonna happen,” he said.
— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) March 12, 2014
The subject was first broached when incoming cornerback Adoree’ Jackson posted a picture of himself clad in a #5 USC jersey standing beside a Heisman Trophy.
Jackson wore #21 as he tore up high school football fields, but has stated on more than one occasion that the man who wore #5 for the Trojans was one of his idols growing up. The idea that he might request to take the number spread like wildfire.
Unfortunately, Reggie Bush and USC have a complicated relationship at the moment. As part of NCAA sanctions related to Bush’s inappropriate benefits scandal, the Trojans have had to disassociate from the electric Heisman winner.
Bush’s Heisman has been sent back and no longer sits in Heritage Hall. In fact, all traces of him have vanished from the USC campus and his jersey has been removed from those honored beneath the Coliseum peristyle.
Despite the practice of only retiring the numbers of official Heisman winners, there still seems to be a de facto retirement of his iconic number.
Now we know, that retirement will continue.