View Full Version : Uh Oh more trouble for Bush and USC

09-15-2006, 01:32 AM
There reporting on the Los Angeles news station allegations Bush could cost USC their 2004 National Championship title and cost Bush the hiesman trophy.

Report: Bush, family received $100,000 in benefits
ESPN.com news services

Reggie Bush and his family "appear" to have received more than $100,000 in financial benefits from marketing agents while Bush played at USC, according to a report posted Thursday night on Yahoo! Sports.

If allegations of improper financial benefits prove true, many of Reggie Bush's USC achievements could be erased.

The Web site reported that the benefits, which could lead the NCAA to retroactively declare Bush ineligible and level sanctions against the Trojans, were supplied by two groups that were attempting to sign Bush as a client. Bush also could be stripped of his Heisman Trophy.

Bush declined to comment when reached by Yahoo! Sports.

Mike Ornstein, Bush's marketing agent who is alleged to have paid financial benefits, denied wrongdoing, telling Yahoo! that accusations of cash payments are lies.

The report was based on an eight-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports, citing documents and interviews with on-the-record sources close to the situation. It lists several instances in which Bush and his family appear to have received financial benefits, including:

• Suits for Bush's stepfather and brother to wear during the Dec. 10, 2005, Heisman ceremony in New York, a makeover for his mother for the event and limousine transportation -- all paid for by Ornstein.

• Two hotel stays by Bush, one in Las Vegas and another in San Diego, in March 2005. In both instances, the rooms were paid for by Michael Michaels, a marketing agency investor who wanted to represent the football star.

• $13,000 from Michaels' fledgling firm, New Era Sports & Entertainment, to purchase and modify a car for Bush.

• $595.20 in round-trip airfare from San Diego to Oakland in November 2005 for Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, his mother, Denise Griffin and younger brother to attend the USC-California game at Berkeley. The charges were put on a credit card belonging to Jamie Fritz, one of Ornstein's employees.

"Reggie Bush never received an extra benefit from Mike Ornstein other than what he was allowed to get from the NCAA when he worked with us," Ornstein told Yahoo!

Bush was an intern at Ornstein's marketing company in the summer of 2005.

Ornstein told the Web site that he believed the funds given to Bush's family by Fitz were a loan that was repaid. He also told Yahoo! he had "no idea" if such a loan would violate NCAA rules.

NCAA rules state that players and their families may not receive loans or benefits from agents.

Phone messages left by The Associated Press for Bush's attorney, David Cornwell, and Ornstein were not immediately returned late Thursday.

Speculation over whether Bush and his family received money arose earlier this year in reports that his mother and stepfather didn't pay $54,000 in rent during the year they lived in a house owned by Michaels, who later said the family promised to repay him once Bush went pro.

The NCAA and Pacific-10 Conference are investigating whether any rules were broken when Bush's family lived in the home. Cornwell also said earlier this summer that FBI agents interviewed him about "potential federal crimes" by phone in June. The FBI would neither confirm nor deny whether a federal investigation was ongoing.

The NFL players union also is investigating the rent payments.

In a statement released by USC counsel Kelly Bendell, the school said it is cooperating with the probe but "cannot comment on any matter that is the subject of an ongoing NCAA and Pac-10 investigation."

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel told the AP the team would not comment on matters involving Bush when he was in college.

"It doesn't involve the Saints," he said.

The allegations would have no effect on Bush's professional football career, a person within the NFL with knowledge of Bush's standing in the league told the AP. The source asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation.

09-15-2006, 12:22 PM
Looks like someone else wants a cut from Reggie - granted Reggie's Stepfather IS a first class leach and A-hole though.

Can you say shakedown? The NCAA has the moral authority of the Gambino family...well at least the mob use to maintain honor.

The time for the exploited college football player to receive a modest stipend is long long overdue. IMO. And the NCAA goes on being a completely unpoliced organization immune to anti-monopoly law with a few lucky pirates who get to loot the treasure stock at will.

Ohio Steeler
09-15-2006, 03:08 PM
I hope the NCAA strips USC of there titles and strips Reggie of the Heisman

Atlanta Dan
09-15-2006, 03:36 PM
Here is Bush's statement after practice today, which is something less than a ringing denial that any $$$ changed hands:

"I'm not worried about any of these allegations or anything like that," he said. "Because I know what the truth is, like I said from day one. Once the smoke clears, everybody's going to see we did nothing wrong."

Everyone at the NCAA level of pro football and pro basketball makes money except the players. Forget stripping USC of its title (whether it is official or not, everyone knows USC was the best team in 2004) or forfeiting games; make everyone in the PAC-10 forfeit $$$ paid for any bowl appearance by USC in any year in which Bush or his family is proven to have taken agent $$$. That will involve returning millions of $$$ - then you will get some serious movement to stop tolerating this conduct at USC, Ohio State, or the other usual suspects.