NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: (FILE) Running back Reggie Bush #5 of the USC Trojans poses with the 2005 Heisman trophy after winning the award at the 71st Annual Heisman Ceremony on December 10, 2005 in New York City. 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 Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
I realize that people will think I won't let this go but something on Reggie's Impala just does not add up.
I discussed in my piece earlier this week that the dates in the COI report and in Todd McNairs's response did not match up. McNair's attorney didn't just pull that date out of the blue, he had to have got that date from somewhere.
Enter my old friends Jason Cole and Charles Robinson. From their time line of events over on Yahoo! Sports back in September 2006...
Spring 2005: Sources say New Era Sports pays Bush almost $13,000 to buy a pristine black-on-black 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS in Los Angeles. Sources say the car is subsequently outfitted with chrome rims and a stereo.
That would seem to fall a little closer in line with McNair's response not the NCAA's claim of Dec. 2004.
Here is a little more from another one of Cole and Robinson's pieces...(emphasis added)
Although the car was almost 10 years old, the model is popular for a number of stylistic reasons. First off, the car, which features a small block, V-8 engine, is particularly fast. Second, it boasted a frame fitted for wide, speed-rated tires, which allows it to be detailed with large rims. Sources say that after Bush took control of the car early in 2005 it was decked out with such rims and an expensive stereo system was installed.
Took control of the car in early 2005?
That is not 2004 last time I checked.
So when did Reggie actually get the car? Again, the COI report says the following...(page 5)
(4) During a telephone conversation in late 2004, student-athlete 1 informed agency partner A that he (student-athlete 1) was embarrassed to drive his current vehicle, a pick-up truck, and wanted a different vehicle. Agency partner A agreed to provide the cash to purchase a vehicle. A short while later, in December 2004, student-athlete 1 located a vehicle he wanted, and agency partner A gave student-athlete 1's stepfather several thousand dollars in cash for a down payment on the vehicle. Student-athlete 1 later contacted agency partner A to request additional money needed to purchase wheel rims for the vehicle. Agency partner A then drove from San Diego to Los Angeles and gave student-athlete 1 an additional several thousand dollars in cash. Approximately one week later, agency partner A gave student-athlete 1 another sizable cash payment, which the student-athlete used for a car alarm and audio system.
So, Lamar allegedly purchased the vehicle in December 2004? Yet Bush took control of the vehicle in early or spring 2005 as noted in Cole's and Robinson's time line? That is wholly different than how the COI reports it. No car is leaving the lot without the registration and insurance up to date and no car is going to sit on a lot partially paid for for more than 10 days...especially not an Impala SS.
So, either Cole and Robinson did some shoddy reporting or the NCAA has another evidence/credibility problem with Lake's story. Both are possible...the NCAA didn't buy the Louis Johnson story about the Tim Floyd $1000 handshake so its possible that Cole and Robinson could have got this wrong but with all that they got right in their reporting of the Bush matter that seems pretty unlikely.
The NCAA has ZERO documented evidence that Lloyd Lake provided Reggie the money for the car other than his un-sworn testimony...I mean the guy didn't even have bail money but he had 13k laying around to buy Bush a car, with rims and a stereo? Oh, that's right Lakes Mom and sister gave Reggie the money but they didn't have the money to bail Lake out either?
The car is the key to the 2004 season and it punches more holes in the NCAA's claims against USC. Somebody has the dates wrong.
More will come out on this, it is only a matter of time...