Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
The word is all over the sports pages-the long running lawsuit between Reggie Bush and his parents and wanna be sports entrepreneur/agent/career manager/sports marketer Lloyd Lake settled just before Bush's deposition was to be taken.
Bush had previously settled with Lake's partner Michael Michaels. Michaels and Lake had been partners in New Era Sports and Entertainment. At his deposition, Bush would have been required to answer questions under oath concerning alleged $291,600 rent payments New Era paid for his parent's residence and other emoluments-every red cent of which would have violated NCAA rules and, if not reported to the IRS, it would have violated a more important collection of rules-the Internal Revenue Code.
According to the OC Register, the settlement includes a confidentiality agreement which means most likely, we will never know the full truth. The OC Register piece has new information on 4 fronts, at least to me.
- First, the NCAA had hoped to review Bush's deposition transcript before issuing its long awaited (oh, how long) report concerning its corruption investigation of the shadiest athletic program in America.
- Second, the NCAA investigators wanted to see what Bush had to say about the knowledge concerning New Era Sports and Entertainment by a Southern Cal running backs coach (Todd McNair), other coaches, and other usc officials. (Most of the Trojan administrators who supervise the athletic program are lawyers who have an ethical and legal duty not to discuss what their clients (usc employees) tell them.) According to the Register, Lake claims McNair knew about the relationship (illegal payoffs) but Pete Carroll, a failed NFL coach, denies such knowledge.
- Third, the Register claims the NCAA ruling could be as early as next week.
- Fourth, the Bushes paid Lake between $200,000 and $300,000.
What can we take away from this turn of events? Follow me after the flip.
I always believed Bush and his parents would settle rather than testify. If they took the money, they could never testify about their skulduggery. Any criminal defense lawyer would tell Bush and his parents not to testify if they took the money and didn't report it to the IRS. If they did not take the money, they would have said years go, "It ain't so; we didn't take the dough." That is something they have never said. If they didn't take the money, they are morally weak for being unwilling to tell the truth and spare Southern Cal the grief it has experienced not only from highly educated bruins and alumni but also the poor pod-knockers who must go through life knowing they attended Southern Cal.
Another point-if the Register is right about the timing of the decision, we'll know next week. And it is mere speculation what the effect of the aborted depositions will be on the outcome. For all we know, next week the Southern Cal football and basketball programs could be in ruins or they may get a stern talking to or something in between. The truth is right now we do not know.
Final point, the key to victory is not the NCAA shaming the most crooked athletic program in NCAA history. The keys to victory are found in recruiting top notch athletes, assuring they can graduate from UCLA (and therefore play), hours spent in weight rooms, hard practices, and game day (or night) performances. Southern Cal will shame itself again and again-we need to win. (And we need to continue shaming Southern Cal-the truth is always worth articulating.)