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...