<
>

Bush, family sued by sports marketer for nearly $300,000 in cash, gifts

SAN DIEGO -- A fledgling sports marketer has filed a lawsuit against
former Southern California running back Reggie Bush and his parents
that seeks to recoup nearly $300,000 in cash and gifts they
allegedly accepted from him during Bush's sophomore and junior
seasons.

The suit filed by Lloyd Lake on Tuesday in Superior Court claims
Bush and his family received $291,600 in cash, living arrangements
and other benefits between November 2004 and January 2006.

"We tried for over a year to resolve this amicably and Bush and
his attorney didn't want to reach any resolution," said Lake's
attorney, Brian E. Watkins. "They wanted the truth to come out.
Now it's out."


NCAA investigators were scheduled to meet with Lake
on Friday in San Diego, but the meeting was postponed until Tuesday, Watkins told The Los Angeles Times.

"We will answer their questions and provide them with documents
and other evidence," Watkins said. "The lawsuit's out there. It
spells it out. We've been putting the NCAA off for quite a while.
We're going to agree to cooperate."

The suit comes nearly two years after allegations first surfaced
and has prompted the NCAA and Pac-10 to launch their own
investigation.

Bush's attorney, David Cornwell, did not immediately return a
phone call or an e-mail seeking comment.

"At one time we asked for out-of-pocket costs," Watkins said.
"They wouldn't even work with us at all."

Lake's lawsuit said Bush's family "had fallen on hard times
financially and required immediate and significant financial
assistance to support their respective lifestyles."

Lake and partner Michael Michaels have said they provided money
to Bush's family as well as a home for which his family had failed
to pay more than $50,000 in rent. The conflict was made public
after Bush, now a New Orleans Saints running back, signed with
another sports agent.

Bush, the Heisman Trophy winner as a junior in 2005, is in his
second season with the Saints. He has said repeatedly that neither
he nor his family did anything wrong in dealings with Michaels and
Lake.

Michaels reached a settlement with Bush and his family last
April.

Earlier this month, Yahoo! Sports reported that Lake planned to
meet with NCAA investigators and turn over financial records and
other evidence linking Bush and his family to the benefits. The Web
site also reported it had acquired confidential e-mails from
officers of New Era Sports & Entertainment, a marketing agency
founded by Lake and Michaels, that shows the agency soliciting
marketing and memorabilia deals on the running back's behalf.

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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.