By Carlo Versano

Reggie Bush, the former NFL running back and college superstar who forfeited his Heisman Trophy after he allegedly received payments while at USC, said college athletes should be paid.

Bush told Cheddar in an interview last month that college athletes are forced to juggle the full-time job of playing sports with a serious course load ー so "it's only fair" they get compensated. Most of those players "come from nothing," he said.

A two-time All-American in college, Bush led the Trojans to the 2004 BCS title and won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. He was drafted second overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints before reports that he had received improper benefits while attending USC. Years after he won the Heisman, he decided to return the award after a report concluded in 2010 that two California-based marketing agents may have paid his family hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts. The NCAA also stripped USC of its championship.

Bush also said he supports guaranteed contracts for NFL players and better safety measures. He said he's hopeful that the NFL's latest policy changes to limit some types of violent hits will be a "good start."

But like many players, coaches, and fans, Bush is concerned new safety regulations may dampen some of the game's signature intensity.

"I made a living off of returning punts and kicks all throughout my career ー college, NFL. I know that's something that fans are excited about, the kick-off. Hopefully, they can keep that as in tact as possible," he said.

"We're modern-day gladiators. It's a brutal sport."

For full interview, [click here] (