‘REGGIE BUSH VS NCAA’
The career was spectacular. The statistics are staggering. Those are the memories.
But so too are the memories of the NCAA investigation that brought down the USC football program.
In the end, it stained Reggie Bush too.
The story is not over now with the Trojan legend filing a defamtion lawsuit against the NCAA for its handling of the entire scandal that led to massive sanctions after Bush had gone to the NFL.
When the probe was done, USC was hit with 2-years of sanctions including bowl games, stripped of 30-scholarships, impactxed on the recruiting tale. AD-Mike Garrett, arrogant, wound up losing his job. USC was ordered to disassociate itself for 10-years with Bush.
His Heisman Trophy was ordered returned to the Maxwell Club. His historic statistics were deleted from the record book. His uniform #5-never to be retired.
Pete Carroll, the record setting head coach, was never charged, but he exited to take the Seattle Seahawks job.
The family was charged with taking over 100,000 from two men fronting as marketing execs, friends of the family, who negotiated to represent Reggie Bush when he turned pro with the New Orleans Saints.
In essence, the family was found guilty of under the table payments. Cash, a free house, a car, payment of past debts, hotel rooms, airline travel, clothing.
Former NFL agent Mike Ornstien and then Lloyd Lake were involved in tons of illegal benefits. Bush’s signatures showed up on hotel bills, paid for by credit cards of the two agents..
We can never know what benefits were given to Bush, because to this day, he has never spoken of it. He did not cooperate with the NCAA probe. He stayed silent when banned from Heritage Hall, when he shipped his trophy back to New York.
He went off to a very good NFL career, making millions from the Saints, onto Detroit before injuries caught up to him. Again silence.
And now years later, Bush wants his due. Because of the changing landscape in the NCAA, payments to players in the NIL, Bush now feels slighted.
He wants damages. Wants the trophy returned. Records restored. Reputation put back in place.
His reasoning, if college players can be paid now, he should not be held accountable for what happened in the past. He views himself as having a right to take benefits back then, because benefits are allowed now.
it seems far-fetched to think life in the early 2000s can be changed now because the NIL has changed college athletics now.
Equally strange, because USC running back coach Todd McNair was banned from coaching, fired at USC, and lost a career and salary, charged with lies and lies. He fought it thru the courts and finally had the case overturned. Career-reputation ruined.
Bush thinks he suffered damages too, eventhough his career was successful. He thinks he was damaged too like McNair.
The difference, the assistant coach testified infront of the NCAA about what he knew or didn’t. The probe indicated he lied alot, leading to his expulsion.
Bush never cooperated, never admitted wrong doing, and never apologized to USC for what happened.
It’s as if his silence was to be construed as his innocence.
Never knew what was going in his house back in San Diego? Never spent time with a former criminal friend of his father-who orchestrated the loan payments? Never got any special benefits as his family moved into a new house and money exchanged hands?
If so innocent, why not testify to the NCAA about what he believed?
Tough to read innocent in all this. Tough to connect the dots that he did not know, did not receive anything from anybody.
And now 18-years after all this broke, he wants damages long after the fact. And he thinks the rules in 2023 (NIL) should apply to him for what he did in the early 2000s. And he tries to springboard from current rules to clear him of a past he won’t admit too.
All these years later this is a problem for him now? Seems far fetched. Just like far-fetched about what was happening around him that he allegedly knew nothing about.
Not sure this holds up in court. Hate to think this is a money grab.
Don’t agree with Bush’s actions now after decades of silence back then.
Guilty or innocent? The NCAA tactics? Or the NCAA actions?
You be the judge.