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Poker Anyone?

Or is it Russian Roulette?

That is what seems to be playing out in regard to the latest story in the LAT in regards to the Reggie Bush case.

As I mentioned last week the Ornstein angle has been under reported and there is a little more speculation as to why Bush and Ornstein parted ways. There are 2 tracks to this case, the Reggie track and the USC track. It is clear that Team Bush is only concerned about the Reggie track and SC could face the music for any infractions that Bush committed.

As a marketer, Ornstein would have been less interested in the legal merits of Lake's case and more concerned about Bush's public image. Therefore, settling with both Michaels and Lake would have made good business sense.

Bush could have written a check, signed Lake to a confidentiality agreement and the lawsuit would have evaporated.

There are additional allegations that Ornstein wooed the tailback with improper benefits, which the agent denies. Some have suggested that Ornstein was eager to settle the Lake lawsuit because he wanted to conceal his own wrongdoing.

I realize that that David Cornwell is worried about the here and now but his refusal to settle in order to make a statement about possible extortion to could hurt Reggie more than help him. More important as the article states: that Cornwell's line of reasoning prevailed. And the real winner could be the NCAA.

Now obviously I don't have all the facts but if we are talking about 300k logical reasoning would be to settle especially with million is making and will probably continue to make as one of the most marketable figures in sports. His reputation will surely take a hit but as me have all seen in the past reputations can be rebuilt and relatively quickly especially in sports. It is clear that Cornwell is more concerned about the principal than making it go away. That's fine, it not my call but it is a bit of the White Knight syndrome.

Cornwell must think that because Michaels was the money man that settling with him was more important because he clearly could have shown a money trail, while Lake `s checkered past could be brought into question n regards to the law suit.

Cornwell could be banking on an assertion that Lake violated state law by acting improperly as an agent. That might affect the lawsuit, but not the NCAA investigation.

At least one marketing expert said that even if Bush were to experience a messy court battle and lose the Heisman, his national profile might not suffer drastically.

"It's not steroids, not dogfighting, not murder," said Bob Dorfman, a San Francisco advertising executive and author of the semi-annual Sports Marketers' Scouting Report. "The NCAA has such arcane rules. . . . I think a lot of fans will say, 'Ah, it's just another case of them coming down on somebody for something that's arbitrary.' "

Again, I'm not quite why Cornwell would care about supposed laws being broken that carry little to no penalties in the state of California but it clear he is running the show. Reggie bush's legacy at SC will be tarnished if it is discovered that he did take money but it is clear he just doesn't care. The question will be is how will USC fare in all of this ?