PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 04: (FILE) Running back Reggie Bush #5 of the USC Trojans carries the football past Aaron Harris #2 of the Texas Longhorns before fumbling the ball on the play in the second quarter during the BCS National Championship Rose Bowl Game on January 4, 2006 in Pasadena, California. According to reports the NCAA will announce a ban on June 10, 2010 on the USC football program from bowl games for two years, a possible loss of over 20 scholarships and will have to forfeit wins from at least the 2004 season. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
UPDATED with Part 2 below the fold...P
A lot of the frustration that many USC fans feel over the NCAA's ruling has to do with just what evidence did the NCAA have. No one will dispute that there were some benefits received by Reggie Bush and his family. No one will dispute that when coupled with OJ Mayo, the Papadakis Taverna dinners and the Ornstein internships that the NCAA was clearly looking to tag USC with the Lack of Institutional Control charge.
Notice what I didn't mention was the Todd McNair angle. Based on the NCAA's "case" it would appear that McNair knew something...maybe he did and I tend to believe that he did but there is also no denying that the NCAA swallowed Lloyd Lake's story hook line and sinker. Even with the NCAA admitting that Lake is a questionable witness at best, they still used his testimony to nail USC. This while not allowing USC to have access to Lake in their interviews have.
We could be just starting to find out why.
Take the time to watch all of this video...
Again, this is just a snippet of Lakes testimony but it is pretty clear that the NCAA based much of their "findings" on hearsay alone. Lakes testimony is pretty inconsistent and he conned the NCAA into believing it. Lake didn't say McNair knew, he just said he figured he knew because he just had to know, right?
I am still not prepared to absolve McNair of any wrong doing. I mean if we are going to hold Lake accountable for his past then it is certainly fair to hold McNair responsible for his...based on what we have read in the report the NCAA didn't believe him. He certainly didn't knock it out of the park in the eyes of the NCAA so he could be lying about something.
The bigger issue here though is how the NCAA "connected the dots" with contradictory and flimsy testimony. The intellectual dishonesty in all of this is staggering.
Lake is saying McNair knew at the party that Lake and Micheals were sports marketing agents. The second key point is the phone call on Jan 8th 2006 McNair and Lake, Lake demanding McNair to force Reggie to stay with New Era.
This is important because...
The question facing the committee was whether student-athlete 1 agreed to become involved with the proposed agency and, if so, when that happened. The committee finds that an agreement for representation was made in the fall of 2004 when student-athlete 1 and his stepfather agreed to form a sports agency with agency partners A and B and that student-athlete 1 began receiving benefits at least by December 2004 when he received funds to purchase an automobile. [See Finding 1-a-(4).] Based on the information presented to the committee, not only was student-athlete 1 aware of and willing to accept assistance from agency partners A and B, but he also agreed to join in that effort. It is irrelevant whether student-athlete 1 intended to stay committed to the agency.
When Reggie becomes ineligible is the key to the 2004 season.
Lake says he gave the money to Lamar Griffin to buy Reggie's car sometime in Dec 2004. We played UCLA Dec 4th. Was the bill of sale before or after the UCLA game?
The NCAA can't even determine with certainty when Reggie was ineligible. That is the sort of garbage that the NCAA is using to hammer USC.
I am sure all of our haters and detractors will look at this as USC calling it a conspiracy theory but if the NCAA is left unchecked in continuing to use these sort of tactics then when it happens to them they might finally understand.
The video said it was part 1, I can't wait for part 2...
And here is Part 2...utterly amazing. I'm sure that as officers of the court that even the Law firm over at BN would admit that this is shameful...