I smell recruiting violations fo USC

vurbano

Thread Starter
On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
Reggie Bush's family found living in $757,000 dollar home. Probably a payoff for playing last year.


SPRING VALLEY, Calif. – In this sprawling hilltop community with a breathtaking view of Sweetwater Lake, it was no secret who lived in the 3,000-square-foot house at the corner of Apple Street and Luther Avenue.

That home, residents would tell you, was where Reggie Bush's family lived.

That is, until this weekend, when the family abruptly packed up and vacated the residence – less than 24 hours after Yahoo! Sports approached Bush's mother about information linking the property to Michael Michaels, a man who is alleged to have tried to play a role in steering Bush toward an agent and who also has ties to a sports marketing company.

Days before Bush is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, unanswered questions about the residence and how his mother, stepfather and brother came to live in it within the last year have prompted the University of Southern California to refer the matter to the Pacific-10 Conference for an investigation.

NCAA statutes prohibit student-athletes or their families from receiving extra benefits from professional sports agents, marketing companies or their representatives. A breach of these statutes could result in an athlete being ruled ineligible, and games in which they played could be forfeited.

<TABLE cellPadding=1 align=right border=0 vspace="5" hspace="10"><TBODY><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle><NOSCRIPT></NOSCRIPT>




</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a == null) document.write("<scr" + "ipt type=text/javascript src=""http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.js.yimg.com/lib/bc/bc_1.7.3.js></scr" + "ipt>");</SCRIPT><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a){yzq_a('p', 'P=ReW.Ks6.I.Zwkpm2QxbhTRYh2DYU8kRNIE4AAUwC&T=13r9q769m%2fX%3d1145905230%2fE%3d96743649%2fR%3dsports%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d1.1%2fW%3d8%2fY%3dYAHOO%2fF%3d4094959799%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3d96E78E44');yzq_a('a', '&U=139jfldgl%2fN%3dXWpWQthtfFk-%2fC%3d389998.8274487.9083048.1806201%2fD%3dLREC%2fB%3d3394492');}</SCRIPT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>USC finished 12-1 last season, its 35-game winning streak and national championship bid both ending with a loss in the Rose Bowl to Texas. Bush, a junior running back, won the Heisman Trophy and elected to skip his senior season and turn pro in January.

In response to reporters' questions about the matter late last week, USC athletic department officials said they would look into it.

"Rather than jumping to conclusions, we need to determine the facts before commenting on this report," Trojans athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement released by the school on Friday. "We have asked the Pac-10 to look into this."

State records show the Apple Street home was built in late 2004 and early 2005, then purchased by Michaels on March 29, 2005 for $757,500. Around that time, neighbors say Bush's family moved in. Whether they had visited the house while it was being built is unknown, but there is an inscription in one of the cement slabs in the driveway reading "The Griffins '05."

Michaels is the only person who has been listed on the deed to the home.

Bush's mother, Denise Griffin, was approached in the driveway of the house on Thursday, but declined to comment.

"I have absolutely nothing to say," Griffin said when asked about ownership of the property, which is where Bush's mother, stepfather LaMar and brother Jovan lived during USC's 2005 season.

Before moving to the house on Apple Lane, Bush's family was listed as living in an apartment elsewhere in Spring Valley, a community located about 13 miles east of San Diego.

At some point after Bush's family moved into the residence, Michaels and an associate named Lloyd Lake are said to have contacted San Diego-based sports agent David Caravantes and offered to facilitate Bush's recruitment. A source with intimate knowledge of the meeting said it took place during the 2005 college football season and that Michaels was looking for a local agent to handle the contract negotiations for players he intended to sign to his marketing firm.

Michaels and Lake told Caravantes they were planning to start a sports marketing agency with Bush as their anchor client. It was also during this meeting that Michaels and Lake mentioned the potential name of the agency: New Era Sports & Entertainment.

The pitch to Caravantes was said to have been simple: He would be Bush's agent and Michaels' marketing creation would handle the promotion of the USC star. At some point after pitching this idea, Michaels informed Caravantes that Bush's family was living in a home Michaels owned. Caravantes isn't believed to have met with Bush and was never considered to be in the mix before the USC star hired Reebok adviser Mike Ornstein and agent Joel Segal of Worldwide Football Inc. as his representatives.

Repeated attempts to reach Segal and Bush were unsuccessful.

While it's unclear what official role Michaels played in New Era Sports, indications are that the company barely got off the ground – if at all. According to corporation filings in California, paperwork for New Era Sports & Entertainment was drawn up on Nov. 23, 2005, and records list the business address in Los Angeles under an attorney named Phillip M. Smith Jr.
Contacted late last week, Smith Jr. refused to talk about New Era Sports – even declining to give public details such as a phone number for the company, where the New Era offices were located or who was serving as the company's current president or manager.

Asked why he wouldn't provide such information, Smith ended the brief telephone conversation, saying, "That's really not an issue that I want to deal with." He has failed to return multiple follow-up messages left at his office.

Further attempts to identify New Era produced a single web page with a company logo (http://newerasports.tv/) that contains no active links to indicate where New Era is located, what services are provided or how the company could be contacted. Searches also produced the internet blogs of three self-proclaimed employees of New Era Sports. One such blog included the company logo of New Era and pictures of several NFL players. That blog was taken down shortly after Yahoo! Sports obtained a hard-copy of the page.

Contacted about his alleged meeting with Michaels, Caravantes declined to comment.

Michaels – who is a member of the Sycuan Indian Tribe and works as a business development officer for the tribe's development corporation – failed to return multiple phone calls and was unavailable when Yahoo! Sports visited his home on three occasions this weekend.

The Sycuan tribe, which owns a casino and resort and is engaged in a number of business enterprises in the San Diego area, denied any knowledge of Michaels' relationship with the Bush family.

"The tribe is not aware of his involvement," said spokesman Adam Day, who had been approved to speak for the Sycuan's tribal government. "Any involvement that he has in this situation is his personal involvement. It has no connection or correlation to the tribe, its businesses or Mike's employment by the tribal development corporation.

"What tribal members do on their own time is their own business. It's not the business of the tribe."

Back at the house on Apple Street on Saturday afternoon, the moving trucks had come and gone. A flier offering cleaning services for movers was hung on the front door, and all the shades had been drawn shut. Through a garage window, only a few empty cardboard boxes and straggling trinkets were visible.

Across the street, neighbor Grant Sitton could only shrug. "I don't know, I guess it didn't work out," Sitton said. "Oh well. They have a big payday coming next week anyway."

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=cr-bush042306&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
 
Last edited:

korsjs

Welcome To SatelliteGuys
Supporting Founder
Jan 25, 2004
7,583
0
Land O Lakes, FL
i don't think it would be a recruiting violation. it would be more of a rules violation dealing with his eligibilty.

most recruiting violations comes from boosters giving gifts to highschool kids.
 

shugo77

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Jan 9, 2005
633
0
Heart of Dixie
I'm sorry, but if USC gets penalized and can't play in a bowl game or be on TV for a couple of seasons, I believe I will be dancing in the street, full of joy.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!
 

vurbano

Thread Starter
On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
Looks like its cover your ass time. They are filing a lawsuit against the Bush family and claiming they failed to pay rent???? Just how stupid do they think we all are?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AmySC0KglQJHQSHWxcCP__5DubYF?slug=cr-bushsuit042706&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=yspsctnhdln>Homeowner alleges Bush family paid no rent</TD></TR><TR><TD height=7><SPACER height="1" type="block" width="1"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>By Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
April 27, 2006

<TABLE id=ysparticleheadshot cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 align=left border=0 vspace="5" hspace="5"><TBODY><TR><TD class=ysptblbdr2><TABLE class=yspwhitebg cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><TABLE class=yspwhitebg cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Michael Michaels, who owns the Spring Valley, Calif., home in which Reggie Bush's family lived for nearly a year, said Thursday he will file a $3.2 million lawsuit for fraud against the Bush family Friday to recoup unpaid rent and other finances given to the USC star's family.

Michaels' attorney, Brian Watkins, alleged Thursday night that Bush's mother and stepfather, Denise and LaMar Griffin, failed to pay $54,000 in rent for the home that has become the center of a joint Pacific 10 Conference and NCAA investigation. Watkins also said that Michaels supplied money to the Bush family, including financing that allowed them to travel to several USC road games last season.

Not paying rent and taking cash from Michaels could constitute extra benefits and a violation of NCAA rules by Reggie Bush. Student-athletes, their friends and relatives are prohibited from receiving extra benefits from professional sports agents, marketing companies or their representatives. A breach of these statutes could result in an athlete being ruled ineligible, and games in which they played could be forfeited.

According to Watkins, Michaels became involved with the Bush family after LaMar Griffin and Lloyd Lake sought to establish New Era Sports & Entertainment – with Reggie Bush as a future client – in November 2004, prior to the Trojans winning that season's national championship.

<TABLE cellPadding=1 align=right border=0 vspace="5" hspace="10"><TBODY><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle>



</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a == null) document.write("<scr" + "ipt type=text/javascript src=""http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.js.yimg.com/lib/bc/bc_1.7.3.js></scr" + "ipt>");</SCRIPT><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a){yzq_a('p', 'P=BNtUbthtfvFwkpm2QxbhTQYH2DYU8kRSIdQACnhM&T=13rugdppd%2fX%3d1146233300%2fE%3d96743649%2fR%3dsports%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d1.1%2fW%3d8%2fY%3dYAHOO%2fF%3d4284222774%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3d5F776DD8');yzq_a('a', '&U=1392glf7h%2fN%3dWXKuVtibyhY-%2fC%3d388905.7701975.8645749.1414694%2fD%3dLREC%2fB%3d3209988');}</SCRIPT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Watkins said Michaels' role in New Era Sports was that of primary investor, and that Michaels' relationship with the family fell apart in recent months – after Bush signed with agent Joel Segal and didn't make good on a commitment to join New Era.

"There was an agreement that they weren't supposed to live free and mooch in that house," Watkins said of Bush's family. "They were supposed to pay rent. But they never paid one dime. Their premise for not paying was that, ‘Next month, we'll pay you. Next month we'll pay you.'

"Then it got to the extent where they were saying, ‘Well, don't worry about it, it's all guaranteed because we're going to be owners of this marketing and agency business, we'll give it to you out of our profits.' Twelve months passed by in that house, and not one dollar was paid."

Said Michaels: "They took advantage of me."

Reggie Bush has denied knowledge of any deal his family may have had with Michaels.

Watkins said that after New Era Sports & Entertainment failed as a business, Michaels sought to recoup $300,000 in back rent and other finances spent while establishing New Era over the course of the last 12 months. The attorney said his claims will be documented by different forms of communication collected in recent months.

Watkins said he had been negotiating a settlement with Bush's lawyer, David Cornwell, for the last three to four months, but moved to evict the Bush family from the home in early April.

"Reggie said that, oh, he found them a nicer house and that's why they moved, but the truth is I served them with an eviction notice," Watkins said. "They did not pay any rent. To this date, they haven't paid any rent. We haven't even gotten the keys back from the house. That's what is going on here."

During a 40-minute interview, Watkins laid out a timeline for the rise and fall of New Era Sports & Entertainment, along with the relationship between Michaels and the Bush family. Among the significant points alleged:
  • November 2004 – LaMar Griffin and Lake approached Michaels about investing in the sports agency. Watkins said Michaels met Reggie Bush and his family for the first time around this date, and was led to believe that the agency would eventually have Bush as a client.
  • "There was the representation that Reggie would come with his stepfather," Watkins said. "Reggie ratified that."
    Shortly thereafter, Michaels introduced Griffin to the Sycuan Indian Tribe's governing council, at which time Griffin asked the tribe – while wearing a Reggie Bush USC jersey – to become investors in the agency. After the tribe declined, it was agreed that the partnership in the agency would be a three-way split between Michaels, Lake and Bush's family, according to Watkins.
  • April 2005 – Michaels allowed the Bush family to move into a new home he had purchased in Spring Valley. The rent for staying at the home was to have been $4,500 a month, according to Watkins.
    "LaMar and Denise had financial problems," Watkins said. "Then it became, ‘Oh, we need a little something. We need a little money here, we need a little money there. But don't worry, it will all be paid back with our profits from the business.' They were saying this to Michael, who was carrying the lion's share of the money put into New Era. Michael Michaels had purchased a home, and hadn't rented it out. Around this time, the Griffin family needed a place to live. Michael Michaels let them move into the house."
  • September 2005 through November, 2005 – Michaels provided money to help the Bush family travel to some road games during USC's season. Watkins did not specify the exact amounts given or the dates of travel to Yahoo! Sports.
"Yes, there was support there," Watkins said. "The [Griffins] said ‘Don't worry about it. We'll pay it all back. It's all part of the business.'"
  • October 2005– Michaels and Lake contact San Diego-based agent David Caravantes about a role with New Era Sports & Entertainment. Michaels and Lake offered to facilitate an interview with the Bush family.
  • November 2005 – Reports surface that Bush and his family are being advised by Reebok consultant Mike Ornstein.
  • December 2005 to January 2006 – Communication breaks down between Michaels and the Bush family. Bush hires agent Joel Segal by mid-January. With New Era out of the picture, Michaels considers ways to recoup his investment from the Bush family. "It fell apart when all of the sudden, LaMar Griffin and Denise would not return phone calls," Watkins said. "Voicemail messages, wouldn't return phone calls – they are missing in action."
  • April 2005 – Yahoo! Sports approached Denise Griffin about the home April 20. Less than 24 hours later, the family began packing up the house and the residence was vacated by April 22. One day later, Yahoo! Sports published a report about the house, including information that USC had requested a Pac-10 inquiry.
The allegations by Watkins and Michaels conflict with some recent statements by Reggie Bush and his camp. Bush has denied knowing the financial arrangement between Michaels and his parents for the Spring Valley home, and also denied ever having an agreement in place to join New Era Sports.

Bush, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in this weekend's draft, declined to answer questions about the rental agreement again on Thursday, when several top prospects met with the media in New York.

According to Watkins, the $300,000 figure "includes rent for the house and everything else" provided by Michaels. The remainder of the $3.2 million in the suit is for punitive damages.

"We're going to contend that they never planned to go forward with this [agency]," Watkins said. "They knew it was just a ruse. They were taking money and taking money and LaMar put very little work into it. It ended up being Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake doing all the leg work – Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake giving all money and everything."

ESPN.com, quoting anonymous sources, reported Thursday night that the NFL Players Assn. and NFL Security had each independently concluded that Caravantes and New Era had used Watkins to demand $3.2 million from Bush. A source told ESPN that the NFLPA had filed a disciplinary complaint Thursday alleging that Watkins engaged in unlawful conduct by demanding payment in three letters dated Feb. 13, March 7 and April 26.

A source close to Bush also told ESPN that NFL Security has contacted the top four teams in the NFL draft and told them Bush was the victim of threats.

Watkins said the extortion claims were the last straw for Michaels, his client for the lawsuit. "Let me be clear about this: We never wanted to do this in the press," Watkins said. "I was going to file the lawsuit after the draft so it didn't create a hoopla. I figured, after the draft, if he gets his big contract, Reggie is more likely to settle, because he knows they owe this money. They defrauded my client. [Michaels] did all the work, gave the lion's share of the money. "The only reason we went public now is because the allegations have gotten so outrageous that I have to speak. When someone throws out the word ‘extortion', we've got to speak. All that other bashing, we took it like men and smiled and prepared the lawsuit. Until they came out with this allegation of extortion. They brought this to the press. We didn't bring this to the press. We're going to be the plaintiffs in the case. They are going to be the defendants."



</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 
Last edited:

charper1

Bourbon Tester
Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
18,442
6
I'm Nationwide
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2426429

Its really is looking like Bush's mom & stepdad were using their own son's future without his, or the school's knowledge, to their own benefit (19yo kids do not know parent's finances, nor should schools have to keep tabs on all the parents of athletes). These parents are scum! AND this will probably KILL USC in the process knowing the screwed up NCAA rules.
 

Purogamer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Jul 19, 2005
2,365
0
Mentor, Ohio
It's the NCAA's own fault for using these kids like this. You take poor kids who come from bad backgrounds, make millions off them while they don't get paid unless they're stars and go on to the next level. There are a lot of guys who think they're going to be stars and don't get a degree who end up bagging groceries. NCAA needs an overhaul and it needs to reel in these kids and their families. As someone who lives in ohio, I'm well versed in how easy it can be for alumni to get money and gifts to these kids and their families. NCAA turns a blind eye to all of it until someone gets caught by the media and then they pretend like they're concerned about it. It's a joke.

I don't see how letting the Bush's live in a really nice house was of any benefit to USC. Are we suggesting Reggie would have sucked if he lived in some shanty on the other side of the tracks? There are plenty of violations that are bad, but this honestly isn't a big deal and money will solve it since it's the basis of this whole situation...USC will be just fine, they didn't benefit from this at all and neither did reggie. The only ones who benefitted at all are the parents who have reggie brainwashed, and will probably be bailed out by their newly-rich son. That heisman speech should tell you how reggie is wrapped around their fingers...

Non-issue...
 

John W

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
997
3
Planet Earth
Reggie benefited by having his family live in that house instead of going to the NFL early. That being said I don't think anything should be taken away from USC's record or last season if it is found to be a violation. They still one 1 1/2 MNC's, still won the Heisman's, still had the "Bush Push". Maybe USC should lose a few scholarships and be banned for a season from post season play but the history is just that, history and it should stay.

I would hate to see USC get hit hard for this because I want them to get beat on the football field not in the NCAA boardrooms.
 

charper1

Bourbon Tester
Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
18,442
6
I'm Nationwide
John Walsh said:
Reggie benefited by having his family live in that house instead of going to the NFL early.

He did come out early; he was a junior this season. Last year he was a sophomore; how could he have come out as a sophomore? Wasn't that blocked by the NFL via the "Clarette rule"?

How did Bush or USC benefit by his parents living in a home? As long as USC didn't broker the home deal (setup), then they should be absolved from the situation.
 
Last edited:

John W

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
997
3
Planet Earth
you are correct, they just have to be 3 years out of high school to be able to enter the draft. Trust me, I don't want to see USC get into trouble over this. I would much rather see them get beat on the field and in recruiting.
 

GeorgeLV

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2005
1,244
0
The problem needs to be attack from the other side too. A sports agent that tampers with college athletes should be treated in a similar manner as a stock broker that commits insider trading. They should be fined, sent to jail, barred from working in their profession, and have their exisiting representation contracts voided.
 

herdfan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 22, 2004
611
0
Hurricane, WV
charper1 said:
He did come out early; he was a junior this season. Last year he was a sophomore; how could he have come out as a sophomore? Wasn't that blocked by the NFL via the "Clarette rule"?

How did Bush or USC benefit by his parents living in a home? As long as USC didn't broker the home deal (setup), then they should be absolved from the situation.
Correct. He played as a true freshman. He did not redshirt.

USC didn't benefit. He was already in school and headed for his junior year when they "rented" the house.

I agree that schools use these athletes and then dispose of them. Something needs to be done. Academic scholarships can come with stipends, so why not athletic ones?
 

John W

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
997
3
Planet Earth
I am totally against college athletes getting paid. Their education and possibly pro athletic careers is more than enough imho. I attended college on athletic scholarship and it paid for my schooling, I am very happy with the education I have in exchange for my athletic performance. Something may need to be done but paying players is not the answer. It also would open up a whole new can of worms.
 

VIPERS-PIT

Pub Member
Feb 11, 2006
2,099
0
The rules violations have been known for 2 years. It goes WAY beyond just this, USC mortgaged their future on winning the national championships. The coach will move on, and the school will ride it out, hoping to keep the championship titles. And the blame will fall on the students and boosters.
 

Purogamer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Jul 19, 2005
2,365
0
Mentor, Ohio
But you're an exception to the rule. A girl who goes to college on a volleyball contract has a pretty good idea that she's not going to be doing this as her job so she studies hard for after school. The typical Football player thinks he's going to be in the pros and just goes to class to stay out of trouble. It's an afterthought to the average football player. Why do you think the NFL is now offering business classes and all sorts of education to their players? It's because they don't learn even basic money-management skills while being passed through the systems.

Agents and Alumni who give money to kids when they know they shouldn't need to be treated the same way a coach would be for giving a kid steroids. Rip them a new one. These are simple rules and these guys aren't afraid of breaking them at all. If we're going to throw the book at guys for giving steroids to barry bonds, we should be going after guys who are actually doing something wrong with at least the same amount of vigor, if not more...
 

VIPERS-PIT

Pub Member
Feb 11, 2006
2,099
0
WOW I back her, no matter what she says. She is a hottie!! Sorry had to do it. football basketball baseball and to a point hockey are the only sports that offer this after school career chance. but football brings in more than the lions share of money to the schools. The schools can make a run like USC did and profit millions, even with the NCAA sanctions it is a win/win for the school.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 1)

Top