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Reggie responds

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Bush: I know there's nothing to worry about Story Tools: Print Email Blog This Associated Press Posted: 59 minutes ago LOS ANGELES (AP) - New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and his family appear to have accepted gifts, money ...

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:45 PM   #1
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Reggie responds

Bush: I know there's nothing to worry about
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Associated Press
Posted: 59 minutes ago



LOS ANGELES (AP) - New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and his family appear to have accepted gifts, money and other benefits worth more than $100,000 from two marketing agents while the Heisman Trophy winner was still playing at Southern California, according to a report posted Thursday on Yahoo.com.

After practice Friday, Bush responded to questions about the report much the same as he did when the allegations of improper benefits first were reported earlier this year.
"I'm not worried about any of these allegations or anything like that," he said. "Because I know what the truth is, like I said from day one. Once the smoke clears, everybody's going to see we did nothing wrong."

The report says Michael Michaels, a marketing agency investor who wanted to represent the football star, and current Bush marketing agent Mike Ornstein lavished Bush and his family with gifts while he was still at USC, each hoping to entice him to sign with them once he left school.

Bush eventually chose Ornstein, which caused a falling out between Michaels and Bush's family.

Speculation over whether Bush and his family received money arose earlier this year in reports that his mother and stepfather didn't pay $54,000 in rent during the year they lived in a house owned by Michaels, who later said the family promised to repay him once Bush went pro.

The NCAA prohibits student-athletes and their families from receiving extra benefits from agents or their representatives. Any improper benefits could lead to NCAA sanctions against USC and retroactively cost Bush his college eligibility and Heisman Trophy.

"Obviously it does affect you just because it is out there," Bush said. "But at the same time I know there's nothing to worry about.

"It makes you want to go out there right away and tell your side of the story. Show everybody the facts, the truth. But you can't do that. That wouldn't be the right way to do it."

The report was based on an eight-month investigation by Yahoo Sports, citing documents and interviews with on-the-record sources close to the situation. It lists several instances in which Bush and his family appear to have received financial benefits, including:

- 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 - all paid for by Ornstein.

- Two hotel stays by Bush, one in Las Vegas and another in San Diego, during March 2005. In both instances, the rooms were paid for by Michaels.

- $13,000 from Michaels' fledgling firm, New Era Sports & Entertainment, to purchase and modify a car for Bush.

- $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 charges were put on a credit card belonging to Jamie Fritz, one of Ornstein's employees.

Ornstein said he believes that when Fritz paid for airfare and a limousine for the Bush family's trip to the Cal game, the money was eventually paid back. Asked whether he was aware that such loans could constitute an NCAA violation, Ornstein told Yahoo: "I have no idea."

A phone message left by The Associated Press for Bush's attorney, David Cornwell, and Ornstein were not immediately returned late Thursday.

Ornstein denied to Yahoo any wrongdoing on his and Bush's behalf.

"Reggie Bush never received an extra benefit from Mike Ornstein other than what he was allowed to get from the NCAA when he worked with us," Ornstein told Yahoo. He added Bush was an intern at his marketing company in the summer of 2005. "I feel pretty damn good about that."

The NCAA and Pac-10 are investigating whether any rules were broken when Bush's family lived in the home owned by Michaels. Cornwell also said earlier this summer that FBI agents interviewed him about "potential federal crimes" by phone in June. The FBI would neither confirm nor deny whether a federal investigation was under way.

The NFL players union also is investigating the rent payments.

In a statement released by USC counsel Kelly Bendell, the school said it is cooperating with the probe but "cannot comment on any matter that is the subject of an ongoing NCAA and Pac-10 investigation."

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel told the AP the team would not comment on matters involving Bush when he was in college.

"It doesn't involve the Saints," he said.

The allegations would have no effect on Bush's professional football career, a person within the NFL with knowledge of Bush's standing in the league told the AP. The source asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Bush was expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, but the Houston Texans bypassed him and took North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams. Bush went to New Orleans with the second pick.
http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/story/5968932?FSO1&ATT=HMA
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:14 PM   #2
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RE: Reggie responds

'Sup Whodi?

Well this is an example of the saying that someone has way too much time on their hands. I like Reggie Bush and I'd like him if he never plays another down of football. This man has class to burn unlike Fumbles and his crowd. I don't know whether or not he or his family took money, and quite frankly I don't give a damn. What torques me is that the Communist media is ready to trash someone else.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:24 PM   #3
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RE: Reggie responds

Well, it might be that USC forgoes at least one national championship, all the money they received in tv and bowl games, give up scholarships and not be on TV or be eligible for post season play for at least a year or two. I'd say that given all that's at stake this is not a trivial matter. If I were Bush, I'd start producing backup to my story and explain how and what he and his family did did not constitute violations of NCAA regs and how USC won't be able to come after him and his millions for damages.

That would be a class act. Come clean. Even if there were improprieties, a class guy would come forward and not stonewall.

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:35 PM   #4
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What's going on RDOX?

xan, I am kinda in the middle. On the one hand, I read the yahoo investigation, and I say there is NO WAY Reggie didn't do something. He got a 1996 Impala SS with $13,000 worth of rims and sound system. College players don't have that kinda cheese. And his parents WERE livingin that house. But on the other hand, if he says he didn't know how they got the house, and his parents back him up that he had no idea, i'd believe him. I've never askedmy parents how we got some of the nice things we had, I just used them. SO I can understand that. But I do agree, if he did something wrong, and it's almost hard to believe he didn't, he needs to get out in front of it now.

And USC is just as culpable. The Yahoo report said they had agents and boosters walking around the football players and practice fields like they were Pete Carroll. So theyknew some stuff was going on.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:44 PM   #5
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RE: Reggie responds

It seems to me that the time at which all of the allegations occured is of the most relevance to USC. It seems like everything started happening around spring of '05. Therefore, I don't see how USC or Bush can be retroactively punished beyond this period, which would exclude the '04-'05 championship from being relinquished.

Sadly I don't see this ending well for Bush though. His comments pretty much reflect what a good lawyer would tell him to say. I hope that somehow all of this turns out well, but it's a lot of damning evidence to overcome. I don't know how the Downtown Athletic Club can let him keep the Heisman if all of this turns out to be true.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:45 PM   #6
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I'd like to believe Mr. Bush (the good one) too, but accepting unreimbursed travel from agents, gifts, leveraging the family's relationship with known agents to get favorable treatment and his knowledge of New Age and his parents' relationship with that entity is not clean hands and he knew it. I do agree with you that USC should have been proactive with its prized thoroughbred to head off this. However, there's only so much they can do without having a team of "communist media types" hounddogging each and every player. There's culpability here, but who's really to blame, USC or the player and his family?

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:52 PM   #7
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Re: RE: Reggie responds

Originally Posted by GoldRush26
It seems to me that the time at which all of the allegations occured is of the most relevance to USC. It seems like everything started happening around spring of '05. Therefore, I don't see how USC or Bush can be retroactively punished beyond this period, which would exclude the '04-'05 championship from being relinquished.

Sadly I don't see this ending well for Bush though. His comments pretty much reflect what a good lawyer would tell him to say. I hope that somehow all of this turns out well, but it's a lot of damning evidence to overcome. I don't know how the Downtown Athletic Club can let him keep the Heisman if all of this turns out to be true.
Actually, it all started in fall 2004:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news?s...yhoo&type=lgns

The timeline
Follow the trail of benefits Reggie Bush and his family appear to have received – back to October 2004.

By Yahoo! Sports

September 14, 2006
September 2004:
Reggie Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, allegedly approaches family friend Lloyd Lake about partnering in a sports and entertainment agency. According to sources, Griffin suggests that Bush will be the agency's anchor client and that the agency may also partner with the Sycuan Indian tribe in the venture.
October 2004:
Griffin and Lake approach a third man – Sycuan business development officer Michael Michaels – in his luxury suite in Qualcomm Stadium after a San Diego Chargers football game. It is suggested to Michaels that he, Lake and Griffin could be partners in the agency, along with the Sycuan Tribe.
November 2004:
Michaels becomes the primary financial backer of the agency, which would become known as New Era Sports & Entertainment. At this point, Michaels allegedly pays off $28,000 in debt for Bush's parents so they can "focus" on forming the agency. New Era representatives claim that the Griffins were holding the USC star's commitment to sign with New Era Sports as leverage to get the debts paid.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:05 PM   #8
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RE: Re: RE: Reggie responds

good for him if he got some extras.
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:20 PM   #9
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Re: RE: Reggie responds

Originally Posted by saintswhodi
Originally Posted by GoldRush26
It seems to me that the time at which all of the allegations occured is of the most relevance to USC. It seems like everything started happening around spring of '05. Therefore, I don't see how USC or Bush can be retroactively punished beyond this period, which would exclude the '04-'05 championship from being relinquished.

Sadly I don't see this ending well for Bush though. His comments pretty much reflect what a good lawyer would tell him to say. I hope that somehow all of this turns out well, but it's a lot of damning evidence to overcome. I don't know how the Downtown Athletic Club can let him keep the Heisman if all of this turns out to be true.
Actually, it all started in fall 2004:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news?s...yhoo&type=lgns

The timeline
Follow the trail of benefits Reggie Bush and his family appear to have received – back to October 2004.

By Yahoo! Sports

September 14, 2006
September 2004:
Reggie Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, allegedly approaches family friend Lloyd Lake about partnering in a sports and entertainment agency. According to sources, Griffin suggests that Bush will be the agency's anchor client and that the agency may also partner with the Sycuan Indian tribe in the venture.
October 2004:
Griffin and Lake approach a third man – Sycuan business development officer Michael Michaels – in his luxury suite in Qualcomm Stadium after a San Diego Chargers football game. It is suggested to Michaels that he, Lake and Griffin could be partners in the agency, along with the Sycuan Tribe.
November 2004:
Michaels becomes the primary financial backer of the agency, which would become known as New Era Sports & Entertainment. At this point, Michaels allegedly pays off $28,000 in debt for Bush's parents so they can "focus" on forming the agency. New Era representatives claim that the Griffins were holding the USC star's commitment to sign with New Era Sports as leverage to get the debts paid.
Oh well I wasn't aware of this. None of this was in the initial link that you posted. I'll wait a while before things become more concrete. My initial thought is that this is unfortunate, but I can't see how USC should be held liable for things that his parents did.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:09 PM   #10
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Re: RE: Reggie responds

Originally Posted by GoldRush26
Originally Posted by saintswhodi
Originally Posted by GoldRush26
It seems to me that the time at which all of the allegations occured is of the most relevance to USC. It seems like everything started happening around spring of '05. Therefore, I don't see how USC or Bush can be retroactively punished beyond this period, which would exclude the '04-'05 championship from being relinquished.

Sadly I don't see this ending well for Bush though. His comments pretty much reflect what a good lawyer would tell him to say. I hope that somehow all of this turns out well, but it's a lot of damning evidence to overcome. I don't know how the Downtown Athletic Club can let him keep the Heisman if all of this turns out to be true.
Actually, it all started in fall 2004:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news?s...yhoo&type=lgns

The timeline
Follow the trail of benefits Reggie Bush and his family appear to have received – back to October 2004.

By Yahoo! Sports

September 14, 2006
September 2004:
Reggie Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, allegedly approaches family friend Lloyd Lake about partnering in a sports and entertainment agency. According to sources, Griffin suggests that Bush will be the agency's anchor client and that the agency may also partner with the Sycuan Indian tribe in the venture.
October 2004:
Griffin and Lake approach a third man – Sycuan business development officer Michael Michaels – in his luxury suite in Qualcomm Stadium after a San Diego Chargers football game. It is suggested to Michaels that he, Lake and Griffin could be partners in the agency, along with the Sycuan Tribe.
November 2004:
Michaels becomes the primary financial backer of the agency, which would become known as New Era Sports & Entertainment. At this point, Michaels allegedly pays off $28,000 in debt for Bush's parents so they can "focus" on forming the agency. New Era representatives claim that the Griffins were holding the USC star's commitment to sign with New Era Sports as leverage to get the debts paid.
Oh well I wasn't aware of this. None of this was in the initial link that you posted. I'll wait a while before things become more concrete. My initial thought is that this is unfortunate, but I can't see how USC should be held liable for things that his parents did.
This link is just a follow up to the Yahoo story, I thought everyone had read that by now. No worries.
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