Running back Reggie Bush said he would not let the distractions of USC's probation and the school's subsequent ostracizing of him affect his performance with the Saints.
Talking publicly for the first time Saturday since USC sent back its replica of the 2005 Heisman Trophy Award he won and eliminated nearly all mention of him on its campus, Bush said he had no choice but to move on. The Saints are in the second day of training camp.
"The whole situation is terrible, and nobody feels worse about than I do," Bush said. "At the same time, I can't dwell on the negative. I have a job to do, and I have a whole organization and city riding on my back. Not just my back, but the team."
Bush, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2006, had career-lows of 390 rushing yards and 335 receiving yards last season. His highlight was an 83-yard punt return against the Arizona Cardinals in the division round of the NFC playoffs, the third-longest in playoff history.
After a lengthy investigation, the NCAA ruled in June that Bush and his family accepted improper benefits while he was at USC. The Trojans received four years' probation, a two-year bowl ban and scholarship restrictions.
"I try to remember that every time I step on this field that it's our sanctuary," Bush said. "This is our place to just forget everything and play football and do what we love to do and not worry about anything else."