Reggie Bush Hush Money Too Late To Save USC?

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports today that Reggie Bush recently wrote a hush money check to the man who reportedly helped him and USC break NCAA rules, sports marketing financier Lloyd Lake.

Reggie Bush Hush Money Too Late To Save His Heisman

(Bush response to his reported cheating? Vewy vewy quiet)

Bush previously used the pseudo lawsuit from Lake as a mechanism to avoid having to ever face NCAA questioning about the reported illegal benefits he was provided by Lake and Michael Michaels while he was winning the Heisman Trophy and BCS Championship with the Trojans.

It was the lawsuit by Lake that Bush cited in February when refusing to defend himself and USC against cheating charges. So the guy whose reported illegal actions may well bring down the USC football program manipulated the legal system to hide from the NCAA. If only Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin, Mike Garrett and others had been such gifted litigants!

So does this mean that Bush hiding from the NCAA will cause USC to get off lighter when sanctions come down next month?

On the contrary.

It has been reported by Yahoo Sports that litigant Lake has already provided the NCAA with documents and audio tapes as evidence that Bush and family lived in a house provided by Michaels (who Bush paid $300,000 in hush money too) while the running back was at USC.

Now, had Bush written a check to Lake earlier, maybe that damning evidence wouldn’t have been turned over. But by now, the NCAA is reportedly already in possession of the smoking guns it needs to, in my opinion, take away Bush’s Heisman and the BCS titles Bush helped the Trojans win*.

The eternal defense by USC fans in this case has always been that Pete Carroll was clueless at the time about Bush’s illegal benefits. But Yahoo Sports reports that Lake and Michaels had regular access to the USC locker room, were seen in photos with Carroll and USC assistant coaches attended parties hosted by Lake and Michaels.

If the NCAA follows the letter of its own law in this case, USC should be severely screwed. But with the intercollegiate governing body being in a far from impartial position, as it directly benefits financially from the success of the USC football program, I seriously doubt Bush, Carroll and the school will get what they and it deserves.

* The NCAA’s only formal authority on past USC records is the “vacating” of victories. Those semantics won’t save Bush and Carroll from the disgrace of severe sanctions on the current program.