Yahoo Sports!: New Bush Bombs Over South Central

The sound that you hearing coming out of South Central is Pom Pom pooping in his pants.

Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole and Charles Robinson drop the latest bomb on the Bush scandal. This seems, uh kind of important:

Former USC and Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush and his family are being sued by the co-founder of a failed sports marketing agency, according to a filing Tuesday in San Diego County Court.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys for New Era Sports & Entertainment co-founder Lloyd Lake, alleges Bush and his family failed to repay a wide array of benefits they received from New Era while Bush played for the Trojans. One of Lake's attorney's, Paul Wong, said that in addition to filing the suit, Lake has agreed to meet with NCAA investigators this week to discuss Bush's involvement with New Era Sports.

"I believe the complaint speaks for itself," Wong said. "... We're looking forward to meeting with the NCAA on Friday. Beyond that, I'm not at liberty to discuss any details."

Some of the highlights from the complaint:
  • The suit seeks to recoup benefits doled out "between November, 2004, through January, 2006, for work, labor, services, materials, goods, a vehicle, and shelter rendered at the special instance and request of Bush and his family." It also seeks to recover an unspecified amount of cash given to Bush and his family during that same period.
  • The suit also alleges that Bush's family "expressly stated, in a meeting with (Lake) and NEW ERA SPORTS in October, 2004, and again in November, 2004, that they had fallen on hard times financially and required immediate and significant financial assistance to support their respective lifestyles, including, but not limited to, payment of living and travel expenses of Defendants LaMar Griffin and Denise Griffin (Bush's parents) as well as living and lifestyle expenses of Defendant Reginald Bush. At said meetings, Defendants expressly and unequivocally, stated and promised that they were borrowing from (Lake) and NEW ERA SPORTS only and that they would not borrow money or accept monies from any other person or entity without expressly notifying (Lake) in advance."
  • The suit charges a breach of agreement due to Bush's family receiving benefits from a third party, stating that Bush's family "secretly received payments, in direct violation of Defendants' promises to (Lake) and New Era Sports, from at least one person sometime around late October, 2005. In particular, said person paid for the airfare sometime around October 26, 2005, and hotel expenses of Defendants LaMar Griffin and Denise Griffin along with (Bush's younger brother) when they traveled to Oakland from San Diego between November 11 to November 13. Defendants suppressed and concealed all knowledge and information of said payments from (Lake) and New Era Sports as such information and knowledge would immediately end any further cash advances."
On what this could mean: If it is determined by the NCAA and Pac-10 Conference that Bush or his family received extra benefits, he would be in violation of NCAA rules. In accordance to NCAA bylaws, Bush's amateur status could be retroactively voided, prompting USC to forfeit games from the 2004 and 2005 seasons, including its latest national championship. Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy could also be in jeopardy. Per the language on the Heisman ballot, any winner of the award "must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student-athlete." I don't want to get my hopes up yet. I could see this being settled if one TrOJie booster decides to step up and fork up the cash to keep this sleaze out of court rooms.

But still this is not good news for TrOJies. Dan Wetzel piles on some more on what implications this court filing could have on SuC's shady football program:

The NCAAs key phrase is "institutional control" which demands schools do everything possible to protect and monitor the actions of its student-athletes. Carroll used to run a loose ship in Los Angeles, a place where agents regularly attended open practices and have been spotted inside the football facility.

In the case of New Era, while they operated out of San Diego, their ties to USC are possibly significant.

Yahoo! Sports previously reported Lake and Michaels didn't just attend USC games, but after two games even went into the Trojan locker room. That's a place most schools severely limit access to and would investigate the background of any non-relative who gains such access.

"Two guys don't just walk into your postgame locker room," said one athletic director. "You confront them immediately and find out. That's basic stuff."

Yahoo! Sports also previously reported that sources claim USC assistant Todd McNair knew of Bush's relationship with both Michaels and Lake. Moreover he spent a night out in San Diego with Bush, Michaels and Lake and knew Bush was staying the night in a $500-a-night suite at the city's Manchester Hyatt.

Yahoo! Sports obtained a receipt for the stay that was paid for by Michaels' credit card. USC refused to allow Yahoo! Sports to interview McNair.

Those bits alone, especially if Lake provides details, could prove to be damning blows for the Trojan program.

The potential for greater trouble looms in what USC hasn't released publicly.

That includes phone records, emails and internal correspondence of all USC athletic department staffers from athletic director Mike Garrett on down. It would also include all compliance department files on Bush plus the Trojans complimentary ticket lists, gate passes and locker room/sideline access lists. USC refused to turn over those items to Yahoo! Sports on a Freedom of Information Act request citing its status of a private school.

But as a member of the NCAA, USC must (and may already have) provided all of that information and anything else the NCAA thinks up. Again, it isn't just what USC was suspicious of, but what the NCAA believes it should have been suspicious of.

"The NCAA defines due diligence," said one AD.

Where it goes from here, how deep it winds up, remains to be seen.

But for USC, Tuesday's lawsuit was a terrible development, the kind that can blow open the doors on Heritage Hall, imperil both the past and future and send Carroll scurrying back to the NFL.

Guess we will see what happens.

One thing seems for sure. TrOJies after losing to loser coaches like Riley, Duhrell and now with fresh losses this season are no longer invincible. They are on their way to becoming just another program like they were during the 80s and the 90s. Pom Pom may look to jump to the NFL, but he is no longer as marketable as he was last few seasons.

So may be just may be the NCAA may grow a pair and really start coming after these guys to find out exactly what has been going on at Shady Central during last few years.

And I am going to grab a box of pop corn because I am going to enjoy watching Troy burnt to the ground both on and off the file. Let's just keep our fingers cross that we can get a good coach at the end of the season, who will not only complete the burning of Troy, but they pour salt all over it.

F8ck SC.

PS: Not surprisingly I haven't seen any mention of this in The Trojan Times tries playing catch up here.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.