LOS ANGELES – Former USC running back Reggie Bush–the focus of a probe that led the NCAA to ban the Trojans from post-season play for two years, along with other sanctions–will give up the Heisman Trophy he won in 2005, he announced today.

In a statement, Bush, who now plays for the New Orleans Saints, said winning the Heisman was the “one of the greatest honors of my life,” and he credited coaches, teammates and fans for helping him win college football’s top prize.

“Any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters a family of sorts,” Bush said. “Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name. It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005.”

USC officials have appealed to the NCAA to lessen the sanctions.

On June 10, the NCAA announced that it was banning USC football for two years from post-season play. The team also was stripped of 10 scholarships for the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

The Trojans also had to forfeit all of its wins from games in which Bush played dating to December 2004.

The NCAA found that Bush and his family members took gifts from sports agent Lloyd Lake and his partner Michael Michaels.