Finally(!) the turning point in the NCAA investigation into the USC football program is here. Yesterday San Diego County Superior Court Judge Steven R. Denton ordered Reggie Bush to give a deposition under oath on April 23 as part of a civil suit filed against him by a former sports marketing agent.
Why is that the turning point? Because the man suing Bush, Lloyd Lake, claims to have financial documents and audio tapes that prove Bush took improper benefits from him and his company worth $291,000 while Bush was still at USC.
While Bush has denied the allegations, the USC Heisman Trophy winner, according the Yahoo Sports, paid Lake’s partner Michael Michaels $300,000 in hush money as part of a settlement that included a confidentiality agreement.
But, as reported by the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, Lake’s silence allegedly was considerably more expensive than was his partner Michaels, at least according to Bush’s attorney David Cornwell.
Cornwell also called an initial $3.2 million settlement demand (by Lake) “extortion.”
Of course it’s extortion, but if Bush’s attorney is telling the truth, then had Reggie Bush written Lake a check for the alleged $3.2M, this whole thing would be over. At least as it pertains to Bush. The current NFL player would’ve never be questioned under oath in public about anything regarding the USC football program
Amazing when you consider that one of the main focuses of the NCAA investigation into the USC football program was spurred by alleged violations committed by Bush and his family.
But with no settlement in sight with Lake, Bush will be confronted, under oath in a courtroom, with audio tapes that Lake claims includes Bush and Bush’s stepfather, LaMar Griffin, talking about the alleged improper benefits.
Now you know why the NCAA has waited this long to hand down a judgement against the USC football program. Up until now Bush, citing his legal dispute with Lake, had refused to talk to the NCAA.
The L.A. TIMES reported in February of Bush’s repeated refusals:
“There are attorneys, there are lawsuits, there are all those things that keep you from being able to talk,” Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, said during a promotional stop at a sponsor’s office in Vancouver, adding, “I’ve tried to do everything I can, on my part, to help USC out.”
When asked for details about how he helped USC, Bush said, “I can’t really speak on that because of pending things, but I’ve done everything I can and I will defend ‘SC until the day I die. . . . That’s just because I felt USC was so good to me. . . . I am USC and I represent USC.”
The NCAA, thanks to Bush not paying Lake the alleged $3.2M settlement, will now be hanging on the Heisman Trophy winner’s every word on April 23. That day, Bush’s Heisman Trophy, Pete Carroll’s legendary USC coaching legacy and the future of the Trojans football program will hang in the balance.
What will Bush’s truth cost USC? I’m betting more than $3.2M.