Report: Marketer claims Bush received $280K in benefits at USC

Updated: October 11, 2007, 8:55 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- A sports marketer will give NCAA investigators financial records and other evidence linking Reggie Bush and his family to nearly $280,000 in benefits while he was enrolled at Southern California, according to a report Wednesday.

Lloyd Lake, who allegedly provided improper benefits to Bush in 2005, has agreed to meet with NCAA officials and give them evidence to help their investigation, Yahoo! Sports reported on its Web site, citing two unidentified sources.

Yahoo! Sports also reported it had acquired confidential e-mails from officers of New Era Sports & Entertainment, a marketing agency founded by Lake and Michael Michaels with cooperation from Bush and his stepfather, LaMar Griffin. The e-mails show the agency soliciting marketing and memorabilia deals on the running back's behalf, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Both Yahoo! Sports and The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Lake is expected to file a civil lawsuit in San Diego against Bush later this month, seeking to recoup money allegedly given to Bush and his family.

Lake's attorney, Brian Watkins, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he couldn't confirm or deny the reports. Watkins declined to comment about the details mentioned in Wednesday's article, only to say, "The story is very accurate."

Lake and Michaels claimed more than a year ago that they provided money to Bush's family as well as a home for which the family had failed to pay more than $50,000 in rent. The conflict was made public after Bush signed with another sports agent.

Bush, the Heisman Trophy winner as a junior in 2005, is in his second year with the New Orleans Saints, having signed a contract reportedly worth up to $60 million. He has said repeatedly that neither he nor his family did anything wrong in dealings with Michaels and Lake.

A phone message left for Bush's attorney, David Cornwell, on Wednesday also wasn't immediately returned.

Michaels reached a settlement with Bush and his family last April. Yahoo! Sports said the settlement was for between $200,000 and $300,000.

If Bush is found to have received improper benefits, USC could be forced to forfeit games. The school could face other sanctions if it's proven that coaches knew or should have known about the alleged benefits.

Also, if Bush is found to have broken NCAA rules during his Heisman-winning season, the award could be revoked.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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