(Why? Read on…)
NCAA penalties included:
Disassociation of football player Reggie Bush, basketball player O.J. Mayo and “booster” Rodney Guillory.
In its report, the NCAA noted Reggie Bush improperly receiving a vehicle, rent-free home, airline tickets, hotel rooms, cash, limousine service, furniture and appliances.
Interesting that the men who actually gave Bush all that stuff, Lloyd Lake and Michael Michaels, are not ordered to disassociate themselves from USC - but Bush is.
Lake and Michaels are the ones who provided the smoking gun evidence to the NCAA that proved Bush’s brazen rule-breaking.
So why did Lake and Michaels throw USC under the bus? (In actuality, they didn’t deliberately.) Because Bush took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and benefits from Lake and Michaels under the pretense of signing with a marketing company they set up expressly to service Bush.
And then Bush completely blew them off.
When Lake and Michaels tried to recoup their large investment in Bush they got this (from Yahoo Sports, February, 2006):
Bush and his mother convene settlement talks with (Michael) Michaels and his attorney, Brian Watkins, at a Santa Monica, Calif., office belonging to (Mike) Ornstein, Bush’s marketing agent. Bush’s attorney, David Cornwell, is also present, and security guards look for recording devices on Michaels and Watkins by patting them down.
Sources say Michaels attempts to talk to Bush directly, at which point Cornwell tells Bush and his mother to leave the room. Cornwell, according to sources, offers $100,000 to settle the dispute.
Michaels and Watkins refuse, informing Cornwell that they intend to file a lawsuit to recoup monies given to Bush’s family and potential earnings lost when the USC star failed to sign with (Michaels company) New Era Sports.
Bush’s unwillingness to reportedly come close to repaying Michaels and Lake for their $300,000 investment is what led to Michaels and Lake to first leak the story to Yahoo and then later inform USC of what Bush was doing.
USC in turn asked the Pac-10 to investigate the situation. That then sparked a full-blown NCAA investigation.
Still, Bush could’ve saved USC from the shockingly harsh NCAA sanctions slapped on the school’s football program today had he not contacted the U.S. District Attorney’s office in San Diego to accuse Lake of extortion. Read more…