An eight-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed that Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush and his family appear to have accepted financial benefits worth more than $100,000 from marketing agents while Bush was playing at the University of Southern California.
The benefits, which could lead to NCAA sanctions for USC and retroactively cost Bush his college eligibility and Heisman, were supplied by two groups attempting to woo Bush as a client. Current Bush marketing agent Mike Ornstein and one of Ornstein's employees were involved. So were Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake, who attempted to launch an agency called New Era Sports & Entertainment, pursuing Bush as their first client.
My, my, my. Does anyone know what happens if Bush is retroactively stripped of the Heisman? Does it go to Vince Young? And what does this mean (if anything) for USC this year?
P.S. - For those of you who missed out on the initial reports way back when, see this thread (The W) and that thread (The W).
I don't think that the Heisman has Miss America rules, but I could be wrong.
I wonder if the NCAA will take action if there is solid proof this all took place. Not that I doubt the effectiveness and impartiality of the organization (hah!), but this could potentially be a huge black eye for college football, and USC has been one of those schools that has made a lot of people a lot of money the past few years.
USC's been relatively un-criticized the past few years, but they've had guys arrested this past summer, Dwayne Jarrett lost his eligibility for a time because of improper benefits, and now it looks like Bush was paid to play football at Southern Cal. Will the national reputation of USC and Pete Carroll suffer because of this stuff? It seems they've gotten a break (or at least nobody's seemed to care enough to write much about it).
I was really suprised how quickly this was buried before, so I'm hopeful that this will get the NCAA to actually do something now.
Half of that we already knew, but his marketing agent is a new thing and really bad. Sounded like Yahoo had some hard evidence on that guy giving the family money.
Bottom line, if he was ineligible, they would have to give up any title they won while he was breaking the rules. As for the Heisman, well that would be up to the voters or club or whatever the organization that awards that calls themselves I suppose. I would at least strip him, don't much care if they give it to Vince or not.
Has Yahoo! as a source ever broken a story before? Honest question - I can't think of anything, but I've never really looked at Yahoo as a news agency, more like a wire service (meaning their items, I thought, were generally just AP items).
But ESPN is picking it up, among others, so I guess it's credible enough.
(edited by TheBucsFan on 14.9.06 2348) "I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."