04.29.06

USC’s 2004 BCS Title In Jeopardy?

Posted in Gridiron at 1:17 am by

It would be fair to say that Reggie Bush had an extremely shitty Friday.

From Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel :

Assertions by Michael Michaels “ the lead investor in a doomed sports agency and the owner of a Spring Valley, Calif., home occupied by the family of Reggie Bush “ could cost the University of Southern California its 2004 Bowl Championship Series national championship.

BCS officials told Yahoo! Sports on Friday that if Bush is ruled ineligible by either the Pacific 10 Conference or the NCAA for even one game during the 2004 season, the BCS will discuss amending its rules to allow it to force the Trojans to vacate the national championship.

“This is the type of thing the BCS might have to look into if other governing bodies, the conference and the NCAA, take action,” BCS administrator Bill Hancock said.

Michaels’ claims, which he has promised will be backed up by corroborating evidence, moves the timeline of Bush’s potential ineligibility back to the Trojans’ 2004 undefeated BCS national championship season.

In a statement released to Yahoo! Sports on Friday, Michaels’ attorney, Brian Watkins, said that in October 2004 Michaels was approached at a San Diego Chargers football game by Bush’s stepfather LaMar Griffin about investing and partnering in New Era Sports & Entertainment, a new sports agency.

In November 2004, Michaels then met with Griffin, longtime Bush friend Lloyd Lake and Bush himself to discuss the plan where the USC running back would be the firm’s central client when he turned pro in the spring of 2006.

“In November 2004, in San Diego, Reggie Bush, recruited by his stepfather to validate Mr. Griffin’s company, convinced [Michaels and Lake] of its viability,” Watkins said in the statement.

“There was the representation that Reggie would come with his stepfather,” Watkins told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. “Reggie ratified that.”

Michaels said that soon thereafter Griffin asked him to pay off $28,000 of Griffin’s personal debt, which Michaels obliged.

While Sports Illustrated’s Peter King quotes Saints GM Mickey Loomis as virtually guaranteeing New Orleans will select Bush with tomorrow’s 2nd pick,  The Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice derides the Texans’ decision to opt for Mario Williams writing that Bush would’ve given Houston “a couple of things they don’t have. Like excitement and credibility.”

Texans owner Bob McNair has this ridiculous notion that the No. 1 pick must be signed before the draft.

You’re wrong, Bob.

The No. 1 pick is seldom signed before the draft. Yes, holdouts are part of the process with the top players. Yes, Bush wanted an obscene amount of money. Tough luck. Taking a hard line with Bush makes absolutely no sense.

You overpaid for Gary Walker, Todd Wade, Morlon Greenwood and others. Now you’re going to play hardball with Bush? That makes you look incompetent and petty.

Franchises aren’t destroyed by holdouts. Emmitt Smith twice held out. Would the Texans have passed on him?

Were the Texans scared off by Bush’s family living in a house furnished by a sports agent? If that was an issue, why did they continue to negotiate with him until Thursday?

Or did the Texans change their mind about Bush? Did they decide he wasn’t the best player available in this draft?

Maybe all those other teams, maybe all those other talent evaluators, aren’t as smart as the Texans. The Texans decided their need for a pass rusher was more pressing than taking the best player on the board.

There’s a word for this kind of logic in professional sports. It’s called stupidity.

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