NEW YORK - Reggie Bush took the unprecedented step of giving back his Heisman Trophy on Tuesday, saying the scandal over improper benefits while he was a star running back at USC should not stain "the dignity of this award."

Bush, now a New Orleans Saints player, won the Heisman - symbol of the best player in college football - in 2005.

This is the first time in the award's 75-year history that a player has forfeited it.

USC was hit with heavy sanctions by the NCAA this summer after it determined Bush and his family had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from two fledgling California-based marketing agents. The NCAA ruled that Bush was ineligible for the 2005 season, which opened the possibility that the Heisman Trophy Trust would take back the award.

One of the few guidelines given to Heisman Trophy voters is that a player must be in compliance with NCAA rules to be eligible for the award.

"The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting," Bush said in a statement released through the Saints. "In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals."

Warner grand marshal

PHOENIX - Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has been chosen to serve as the grand marshal for this year's Fiesta Bowl Parade on Dec. 31.

Bowl committee president John Junker told a meeting of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau on Tuesday that Warner also will participate in the coin toss to start the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1. The game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in suburban Glendale.

Extra points

• The Western Athletic Conference has filed a lawsuit to force Nevada and Fresno State to stay in the league through the 2011-12 school year before leaving for the Mountain West Conference. WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday the league filed the complaint last week.

• Florida receiver Chris Rainey was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony, for allegedly sending a former girlfriend a threatening text message. The school did not announce any disciplinary action.