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Cheat On Southern Cal

UPDATE 1/25/07:We will just keep updating this post from hereon out. So now there may be a tape. Another big story on this fiasco from Yahoo report is already splashed all over the internets. We will see how this all shakes out. Trojan fan base are of course in denial and are in desperate mode to move. Whatever. Most of them are delusional freaks who will do whatever it takes so that they can root for an elite football team. One note from the LA Times story from the Trojan Times:

Watkins (New Era's attorney) said his clients plan to speak to the NCAA and Pac-10 after the Super Bowl.
We will see how that turns out. At least now somone is willing to talk to the NCAA and the Pac-10. That is certainly news. Although can't say I have much confidence in the NCAA and the traditional media who so far to date haven't shown any interest whatsoever in digging into this story. As far as the issue on whether Southern Cal knew (if the allegations prove true) about Bush getting illegal gifts, the key guy to keep an eye on is McNair, former Southern Cal RB coach, who allegedly knew of Bush's involvement with New Era (as posted previously down below) before the Rose Bowl against Texas. One would think McNair might have not been free lancing in the staff of Pom Pom Carroll? Can't imagine how the Trojan Times would treat this story if this involved some superstar UCLA running back gunning for the Heisman ala Deshaun Foster? We will see how this turns out. But it's not a stretch to say something stinks in South Central. And it is amusing to see how Trojan fans are in denial and soaking up that disgusting smell. GO BRUINS.-N

9/15/06: We will get to the Bruin roundup later today.  Just when you thought we were going through a slow news week, the cheaters from Southern Cal come through. Yahoo blows the lid off Bush Gate. Charles Robinson and Jason Cole details the result of an 8 month old Yahoo investigation, which reports Bush and his family received benefits amounting to more than $100,000 from agents, while he was playing for Pom Pom. Here is Yahoo on Bush's cash and carry at Southern Cal (emphasis mine throughout):
An eight-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed that Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush and his family appear to have accepted financial benefits worth more than $100,000 from marketing agents while Bush was playing at the University of Southern California.

The benefits, which could lead to NCAA sanctions for USC and retroactively cost Bush his college eligibility and Heisman, were supplied by two groups attempting to woo Bush as a client. Current Bush marketing agent Mike Ornstein and one of Ornstein's employees were involved. So were Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake, who attempted to launch an agency called New Era Sports & Entertainment, pursuing Bush as their first client.
Again remember the NCAA suspended former Bruin All American LB Donnie Edwards a game for accepting a bag of groceries from agents. Here is what Bush and his family allegedly received from Orny and his associates:
*$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 fees were charged to the credit card of Jamie Fritz, an employee of Ornstein. The document detailing the charges was provided by Lee Pfeifer, an estranged business associate of Ornstein's.

*$250.65 for limousine transportation from the Oakland airport to the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco that November weekend for the Bush family, charged to Fritz, according to a document. Ornstein acknowledged both he and Bush's family stayed at the luxury hotel.
And that's not the end of it. There is more:
Additionally, New Jersey memorabilia dealer Bob DeMartino alleges that Ornstein provided:

*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;

*Weekly payments of at least $1,500 to the Bush family.
Oh we are not done yet. There is more:
Documents and multiple sources also link Bush and his family to receiving benefits from New Era's financial backers, including:

*$623.63 for a hotel stay by Bush at the Venetian Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from March 11-13, 2005, charged to Michaels, according to a document signed by Bush.

*$1,574.86 for a stay by Bush at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego from March 4-6, 2005, paid for by Michaels, according to a hotel document, a hotel employee and a source.

*Approximately $13,000 to Bush from New Era to purchase and modify a car, three sources said.

*As reported by Yahoo! Sports in April, $54,000 in rent-free living for a year at Michaels' $757,500 home in Spring Valley, Calif., according to Michaels and San Diego attorney Brian Watkins.

*Also from previous Yahoo! reports, $28,000 from Michaels to help Bush's family settle pre-existing debt, according to Michaels and Watkins.

*Thousands of dollars in spending money to both Bush and his family from the prospective agents, according to multiple sources.
As you can imagine most of the Trojans (except for the ones with a conscience) are in automatic denial mode. Too bad for them here is the smoking gun from Yahoo:
[D]ocuments obtained by Yahoo! Sports indicate both the airfare and limousine rental for the trip to the Bay Area were paid in full on Fritz's American Express card prior to the trip being taken. Ornstein also used the card in August to book his own trip to Bush's NFL preseason debut against the Tennessee Titans.

The card establishes a direct link between Bush's family and Ornstein's office while Bush was still at USC, but Ornstein insisted it was merely a matter of helping the family.
Uh yeah. Whatever Orny.

And in case some silly Trojan tries to dismiss this by saying Southern Cal had nothing to do with this fiasco, here is Yahoo:
The potential problem for USC goes beyond the trail of money to Bush. The Trojan program could be found by the NCAA to have failed to exert proper institutional control.

Sources told Yahoo! Sports that representatives of New Era were allowed into the USC locker room during the 2005 season. Ornstein and other agents frequented the USC sidelines during several games and numerous practices that season, according to published reports.

Also, McNair (Southern Cal Running Back coach - Ed.) allegedly knew of Bush's involvement with the New Era venture before last season's national championship game against Texas, according to two sources. And at one point during the 2005 season, sources say Bush thought that Carroll knew about his parents' living arrangement and feared he was going to conduct his own investigation.
Bush called Michaels, instructing that if Carroll called regarding the house to "tell him that you're a longtime family friend." Carroll never called Michaels.
Lack of institutional control at Southern Cal? Gee that is all news to us!

Well the beat reporters over at the LA Times , who cover Pom Pom's dirty program at Southern Cal ought to be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves for getting scooped on this story by Yahoo sports. While Trojan Alum Scott Wolf has still not touched this bomb shell, no doubt waiting for the spin coming out of Pom Pom's mouth. But we knew they were mostly incompetent toadies, just cutting and pasting Pom Pom's sweet sugary press releases proclaiming everything is all right at Southern Cal.

And, we will see how NCAA responds to this. They let free renting Dwyane Jarrett off the hook because of the excuse that his thousands of dollars of extra benefits was not coming from an agent (again someone should look into how Mr. Leinart could afford to fork up thousands of dollars of free rent just not for his ball room dancing son, but also another player. He must be millionaire!). They are not going to be able to use that excuse this time.

Whatever happens from now on ... it is undeniable that Pom Pom's Southern Cal program is tarnished. They are tarnished for rest of his tenure. Right now his credibility holds as much water as this guy has in America's sports landscape.

Cheat on Trojans. Keep waiving that Pom Pom.

It won't matter what they do this Saturday.

They will forever be known as one of the dirtiest programs in the history of college football.


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