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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Smell Test

Reggie Bush is either not very smart or he's not telling the truth. Because the brewing controversy regarding the house his mother and stepfather leased, rented, borrowed, had squatter's rights to INSERT OTHER BULLSHIT STORY HERE from a would-be sports marketer angling to steer Reggie to an agent doesn't pass the smell test. Not even close.

In his latest comments on the situation, Bush said it was "kind of funny" how the whole situation was "blown out of proportion." Really? I can think of a lot of things about this story, but if you're a USC fan facing an NCAA investigation, funny probably doesn't come to mind.

Bush then goes on to say his parents "leased a house like any other parent" but then declined to say who paid the rent. Uh...is this sort of arrangement really how most parents do it? Guess again. Besides, they're not "most parents." They are the family of the best college football player in the country. So even IF this "lease" was on the up-and-up, don't you think Reggie might have had this conversation:

REGGIE: Hey, coach.

PETE CARROLL: What's up, Reggie?

RB: Listen, my folks are renting a house from a some guy who's trying to start a sports marketing firm called New Era Sports to rep me and steer me to some agent near him in San Diego. Thought you should know because people might take it the wrong way.

PC: Gee, thanks for telling me that, Reggie. Because on the surface, that could look really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really bad. Thus, it was smart of you to tell me up front so it doesn't potentially hurt the program and those of us who see how that might look incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly stupid.

But wait, you say. Reggie didn't know, right? Because it only gets worse when Bush's attorney tries to explain it away with that excuse: "Reggie Bush was a full-time student at the University of Southern California and never lived in the house. As is the case with most 20-year-old college students, Reggie was not aware of personal or financial arrangements relating to his parents or their house."

So, besides the conversation above, I guess that means this little chat never took place either:

REGGIE: Mom, wow! Nice house. How did you and stepdad afford going from an apartment here in Spring Valley, California, which run from, oh, $1,000 to $1,500 a month, to buying this two-story $757,500 house with 3,002 square feet...which, in mortgage payments alone, not including taxes and insurance, would cost $3,631 a month...and that's with 20% down!?

MRS. BUSH: Shut up and eat your breakfast, dear.

Seriously, folks, common sense here. And keep in mind, this is coming from a site that has been very supportive of USC in the past. But, as mentioned, this doesn't pass the smell test. Not even close.

I guess the reason I get so upset about situations like this is, like Michigan's Fab Five fiasco, punishment, if meted out, never falls on those that cause the problem. Instead, the hammer comes down only on innocent student-athletes (and the fans) left behind to deal with the mess. Chris Webber is a multi-millionaire while Michigan basketball is only just starting to recover from his deeds of over a decade ago.

Same goes here. If rules were broken, Reggie Bush will be in the NFL counting his millions and buying his family an even bigger house. But like a rude houseguest, all the clean-up will be done and faced by others.

Finally, we hate to give anybody any ideas and start another billboard controversy but...


Tank Black said...

You are blowing this way out of proportion, a mountain out of a mole hill.

Why is it when a sports agent, I mean a friend gives a little help to a student or their family everybody gets their panties in a bind?

TideInTx said...

If anyone thinks USC is going to lose even one scholly over this they are crazy. It will be a very minor slap on the wrist and all will swept under the rug.

Trojan Mike said...

Yost- I think you got it about right. As a long time USC fan and alum, I'm pissed today. Whether we get a slap on the wrist or some stronger punishment, this puts tarnish on what has been a golden era of USC football. These boys have put in blood, sweat and tears into a three year run that was simply amazing.. and they don't need this crap.

But hey, as long as that great win against Michigan in the Rose Bowl three years ago still counts, I'm happy..... (haha)

The King said...

Tank Black, the reason "why" is because it's ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO THE NCAA. In the real world, sure, that might not seem crazy (though if you have "friends" spotting you $800K, you're probably doing something illegal already), but those are the rules for the world in which that family lives, and they know it. And that's why everyone gets their panties in a bind. Or to make this more relatable: Let's say you really like kiddie porn. You, Tank Black, LOVE kiddie porn. But it's pretty illegal in the society in which you (presumably) choose to live. So, theoretically at least, you are smart enough not to satisfy your near insatiable cravings for kiddie porn, right? Because you understand and respect the laws that govern you?

Tideintx, I thought about trying to argue with you, but I'm not stepping to anyone who uses the term "scholly." It makes me feel like such a n00b.

Anonymous said...

They leased the house....

Anonymous said...

One thing you've missed if you haven't been reading the San Diego Union Tribune articles:

The "wannabe sports marketer" is on the staff of Sycuan Tribe. This tribe runs a large Casino in East San Diego. We all know how the NCAA loves gambling interest in their sport.

Oh -- how many people who lease houses are there when the driveway is poured so they can etch their names in it like the Griffins did? What -- they arranged for the lease while it was under construction? No problem on its own, but with the rest of these revelations it adds to the "smell test" problem.

And how come all the Griffin family's phone numbers changed (according to the paper) when this whole thing came out?

Why did LaMar Griffin decline comment if this was an innocent lease? If my kid was a sports star and a journalist asked about my home, I'd say -- "Listen man, I rent this place and pay a fair price -- go ask the landlord and leave me alone." Instead, they just clammed up.

Then, their lawyer's first statement? -- was it "The Griffins paid fair rent!" Nope. It was essentially "Reggie Bush is not involved with his parents leasing matters.."

Wholesome Goodness said...

Anon#2, I think you hit the nail right on the head. The polygraph test measures people's reactions when confronted with a situation. And while I don't want to get into the flaws of the polygraph system, anyone who says "I didn't murder that guy" when you ask them how their day has been does not pass the smell test.

Anon#1, I'm going to speculate what those three dots mean after your quote: "They leased the house" illegally in an attempt to benefit financially from their sons athletic success. But then again, that's just speculation.

Anonymous said...

mainstream media is trying to cover this up or justify it.

just listen to what maisel and cowherd said this morning on espn radio.

stay on top of this because we know espn will not

azball said...

Did anyone else see "The Best Damn Sports Show" after USC beat UCLA?

They had Bush and White on the set and asked them how they felt about the big win.

White's response: "It was great, it's helps make those bonuses bigger."

Anonymous said...

I like the kid "Mr.President".but I have grave reservations on the team that Coach Caroll puts out. Arrest, fighting, extremley anti- social behavior. The NCAA won't tag them for anythig minor or major.The NCAA is too busy making ure that nicknames are politically correct, not who's tbing paid illegal inducements. They are a quasi non for profit orgganization with $650 million in their coffers. GoBig Blue. Go Irish.ef the rest of 'em

Anonymous said...

The King, How dare you bring personal reading habits into a football related conversation.

Anonymous said...

Um, "The King". Tank Black was the agent that got Florida into trouble a few years back. The comments given were factitious.

Anonymous said...

"The comments given were factitious."

I think the word you were looking for was flatulence?

NFL Adam said...

Well, if you can't beat them on the field, the best you could possibily hope for is some sort of probation. Makes sense.

Anonymous said...

DAMN YOU nfl adam, damn you straight to hell.

Russ said...

I agree that this one won't go far as far as sanctions are concerned. Unless it can be proven that USC knew, or should have known, about the arrangement, they won't be forfeiting anything.

DevilGrad said...

This just goes to show you that it's smarter to stick to the Leinart plan and confine your off-the-field rewards to favors from Hollywood starlets.

Anonymous said...

shouldn't it be 619 - Bush Fan ?

Anonymous said...

Michigan 2004 Rose Bowl Champions?
Is there any way that USC forfeits all games in which R. Bush played? If yes, does that then mean that U of M is the de facto 2004 Rose Bowl Champion? Not sure what happens in such a case. (I know U of M Hoops forfeited its wins with Webber, but not sure if the losing teams actually got Ws or if everyone just lost . . .)

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps you should worry less about Bush and USC and more about Michigan and how badly they suck.

Anonymous said...

1. Reggie, where are the cancelled checks for the house payments? We ask this because bringing these forward will clear everything up.
2. Why did your family move out immediately after your mom was questioned by the reporter? Most people believe innocent people don't run away from their houses. Yesterday on ESPN you said that she moved out because you were buying her a new house. But then you said that house was too expensive even for you. So if she doesn't have a new house, why did she move out of this one? Where is she living now?

3. Why did you avoid answering these questions and others on the ESPN interview yesterday?
4. How did your mother, a security guard, afford to live in a $757,000 house?
5. What is your relationship with Michael Michaels?

Anonymous said...

You idiots have no credibility WHAT SO FING EVER! Reggie is a classy kid and didn't do a thing. There's no evidence about this witch hunt and that's exactly what it is a witch hunt. You just wish it was true because this is the only wya you can take shots at the mighty BOYS OF TROY. We destroyed you in the Rose. 14 points doesn't do justice to our win. Your site is a disgrace to blogs everywhere.

Yost said...


Don't beat around the "Bush." How do you really feel?

nico said...

Yeah, why all this hating on the boys of Troy? They never did shit to anyone.

Anonymous said...

"The Boys of Troy"

Sounds like a gay bath house in the making. Kind of makes you wonder what Reggie Bush was really up to when he was dry humping Leinart into the endzone.

Anonymous said...

haha!! oh my god! Reggie's cool with me, but F Leinhart. What a classless chode.

wds4usc said...

I agree with Trojanmike--mountain or molehill, this puts a tarnish on our four-year run. I've tried to be fair on this site (even though it hurts a bit right now) and I hope I continue to do so: As I've stated, if his parents were indeed found to have done something improper, I would sue the crap out of them. They know better as all parents (and alums) are considered agents of the university and must behave accordingly. Because it is difficult to police parents and alums, I think they should be held individually responsible for their actions and suffer the consequences for the damage caused to the school (if the school is innocent). I also don't think Mzone has at any time gotten glee from something like this happening to any school. Just funny comments which, under the circumstances, is probably the best way to look at it. I guess we'll see what happens.

Anonymous said...

3pete? No.

Repete? No.

1pete? Maybe.

Nopete? Looking like it!

Anonymous said...

If Bush's family is found to be guilty...i dont think this will be swept under the rug. Nor a wrist slap. Otherwise, you might as well just let the players make any deal they want while in school..or just let their parents. Cant punish Reggie...the NCAA HAS to send a Harsh message that 'this wont be tolerated' - ban from bowls, losses of scholorships...

and i said if....no other choice.