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Shrub Talk

While we have been soaking in the successes of out athletic programs, the program full of (alleged) criminals across town continue to be haunted by the (alleged) cheating and scandals of its shady superstars.

Reggie Bush is still out there shameless prancing around making a fool out of himself (just like other Trojie Heisman clowns and social pariahs) and basically daring the (weak and gutless) investigative arms of the NCAA and the conference to get him.’s Michael Silver penned a pretty interesting article last week writing about how the Bush gate hasn’t gone away and how the smell from this huge scandal is stinking up the NFL, the NCAA and of course Southern Cal. But apparently there is some movement as the Pac-10 now has a new official who may be looking into the stain Reggie left back in South Central:

First, the promising news: Pac-10 associate commissioner Ron Barker, a former NCAA investigator who now has a similar role with the conference, said Thursday he believes the truth about the improper and benefits allegedly received by Bush and members of his family will be uncovered.

"This case is a long, long way from being over," Barker said. "There is a lot of information being gathered that I can't speak about. We've had some interesting things happen in the last two weeks that have put some new life into this."

Barker has been involved with plenty of investigations, but even he is stunned at what has transpired in this case.

"This is the first time I've encountered anything like this, where all parties -- even those who've turned against each other -- have not cooperated with an investigation," Barker said. "I've never had a problem getting the information in the past."
In other words Reggie and his minions and the Trojan football program sounds like college football version of Alberto Gonzalez and his chronies from the DOJ making a complete mockery out of the respective institutions they are part of.

Silver goes on to write how the audacity and hubris of Bush (the football player, I know brought up Gonzo) and the supporting officials around him (both from his days in South Central and his current handlers) is making the NCAA look weak, pathetic, and irrelevant:
Right now we have a system that is supposed to be equitable, and the evidence suggests that Bush and his family benefited on a scale far outside the realm of the NCAA's often nitpicky enforcement zone.

Putting aside morality, here's what's at stake: If a student-athlete and his parents can get away with, according to the Yahoo! report, receiving well over $300,000 worth of financial inducements, those of us getting wrapped up in the games on Saturday will have a very hard time buying into the notion of competitive balance.

The NCAA is supposed to be able to regulate such seemingly egregious flouting of its bylaws, yet lacking subpoena power (as its officials unfailingly remind us) and unable to impact a former collegian like Bush's eligibility, the organization seems soft.
Since NCAA seems weak and pathetic to do anything it may be up the conference to get to the bottom of the Reggie scandal and apparently Barker, the Pac-10 official is indicating a willingness to be persistent to get to the bottom of this blockbuster cheating scandal:
Barker has been especially frustrated by the Bush case which, from my vantage point, looks like a textbook example of cheating and beating the system. Last month Bush reached a settlement with Michael Michaels, one of the financiers of the failed marketing agency which allegedly funneled money and benefits to Bush and his family. According to Yahoo!'s sources, the agreement includes a confidentiality clause that will keep Michaels from talking to the NCAA.

If this is true, then here's essentially what went down: Bush got paid, skipped to the NFL and then seemingly bought the silence of one of the men who could indict him. And while Michaels' ex-partner, Lloyd Lake, is reportedly preparing a possible civil suit against Bush, there's no reason the well-off running back couldn't negotiate a similar settlement with him, too.

To Barker, a settlement with Lake would theoretically remove the reservations cited by Bush's attorney when explaining why his client wouldn't agree to be interviewed by investigators. "I understand his reasons for not talking," Barker said. "There is a threat of civil lawsuits. But if a (second) settlement comes, I'd like to see the reasoning for continuing not to talk."
In other words Barker thinks he can make Reggie talk. We will see. A HT to goes to CalPolyBruinFan over at Bruin Roar for flagging that article who is resigned to the notion that Bush will get away:
Even if the parties won't talk to Barker directly, there are these alleged audio tapes that Bush's wannabe agent Michaels said he recorded. Who knows if those tapes even exist or if they will surface sometime in the future but they might be enough to convince the investigators of foul play. But with Michaels settling his lawsuit with Bush and part of that settlement being a non-disclosure clause, I think that is pretty much a dead-end. Ultimately, Bush has bought Michaels' silence and there isn't anything the NCAA can do about it.

At the end of the day, there doesn't seem to be much hope that anything will come from this investigation. Since nobody is talking and the conference and the NCAA don't seem highly motivated to push it forward, I think we'll never see a satisfying resolution. It is sad too, because Bush is basically making a mockery of the NCAA. What we've learned from this is that a player can receive illegal benefits and as long as nobody finds out about it until after he leaves school then he can get away with it.
Unless of course if that player happens to be UCLA. Because we all know NCAA has no problem cracking down on a UCLA All American football player if he receives a free bag of groceries, looking all tough and all that.

And people wonder why we hold the (alleged) corrupt football program from cross town and its delusional (see no evil, hear no evil) apologists in so much contempt.