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Lake pushes back meeting with NCAA

Lloyd Lake postponed his meeting with NCAA on Friday until Wednesday of next week, think he is looking to settle? I do.

But I also think he is exposed, so he is playing some gamesmanship. We have heard a lot of talk about taped conversations and documentation of this whole mess but yet none of it has ever seen the light of day.

A source close to the case has said that Lake tape-recorded a conversation in which he, Bush and Griffin discussed cash and gifts.

Watkins declined to comment on whether a tape would be part of the evidence, repeating: "We will cooperate fully."

But another source familiar with the situation questioned why no such documents or evidence were presented during private negotiations between the parties, and wondered whether the information actually exists.

I know we are talking about a lot of money here but come on this isn't national security stuff we are talking about and even that sort of stuff leaks. IF Lake has something on Bush only USC has the potential to get hurt and that tenuous at best in some circles. It is apparent that Bush could care less about his Heisman or any of his accomplishments while he was at SC. That's a shame but it is what it is, I am more concerned about SC. There is a strong possibility that if Lake does have information in regards to Bush that hurts SC that SC could come back and sue Lake, SC has done it before.

Agent Sued By U. of Southern California Accepts Settlement

A sports agent has agreed to pay the University of Southern California $50,000 and avoid further contact with its athletes.

The university sued the agent, Robert Troy Caron, in Los Angeles Superior Court after three of its football players were declared ineligible last month because of their dealings with him. An inquiry by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pacific-10 Conference found that Mr. Caron, a personal-injury lawyer who is not registered as a sports agent in California, had hired a young man to befriend and move in with the athletes; as their roommate, he paid for meals and gave them pagers and telephone calling cards. N.C.A.A. rules prohibit athletes from accepting payments from sports agents.

Seeking some recourse, the university filed the lawsuit, which is believed to be the first of its kind. It alleged that Mr. Caron had induced the athletes to breach their contract with the university -- a scholarship agreement in which they promised to obey N.C.A.A. rules -- by accepting impermissible cash and other benefits.

The day the lawsuit was filed, the court issued a temporary restraining order barring Mr. Caron from soliciting the athletes or providing them with favors in violation of N.C.A.A. rules. A few days later, a settlement was reached.

Mr. Caron did not admit guilt. But he did submit to a permanent injunction that will forever prohibit him from conferring benefits upon U.S.C.'s athletes, and he agreed to pay $50,000, which Southern California will put toward a fund that provides academic support for promising high-school students in the university neighborhood.

I am not saying that SC will do it but it has to be in the back of Lake's mind. The vast resources SC has would eat up any judgment money he would have if he won damages in a civil suit. A settlement doesn't hurt SC because it would be sealed with a non-disclosure clause.

The interesting thing is how Yahoo has covered this whole story. Their allegations of these supposed benefits have always had the taint of a salacious nature. The have attempted to portray this situation as something terrible without potentially having all the facts. Believe me if they, Yahoo, had the info they would publish it and when pressed about specifics they have admitted they don't have any facts at all to support the claim that any benefit was bestowed until well after SC beat Oklahoma in the BCS title game. The MSM could care less about the NCAA if they had the info they would run with it. While the clowns from across town hang on every word that Yahoo publishes they continue to hammer the L.A. Press for looking the other way and seemingly ignoring this story. That reason is simple regardless of what you think about the MSM they still have standards, they will report allegations that are known but they won't report on things that can be proved. People act like Yahoo are Woodward and Bernstein when in reality they are no different than the national enquirer. This is the same Yahoo that wrote a blistering piece on John Wooden and the bruin faithful mobilized to discredit the piece and yet they will jump on this story written by the same people, with the same sort of journalistic style and lack of credible evidence and consider it gold and they claim they are reality based...right.

The more I look at this the more it looks like Lake may not have as much as he states and he may be trying to call Bush's bluff, if Lake was going to burn Bush or SC he would have done it by now by just going to the NCAA, but all he wants is the cash. It is obvious that Bush could care less about SC and is willing to take his chances in a civil suit. That's where Lake could have some trouble, his credibility will surely be called into question. And you can guarantee that Bush's legal team will pour though his financials questioning how he even has 291,000 to loan the Bush Family.

Going with the premise that Bush could care less about SC and there will be no settlement, at this point the whole thing supposedly hangs on either an audiotape or a bank stub. Both if true would put Lake in a position to admit that as would be agent he tampered with a player or the player's family. There are laws in CA about agents tampering but it would be hard to see Lake prosecuted under those laws because he is not an agent. What could happen though is SC suing Lake for the harm caused to the SC program. They have done it before so I see no reason not to do it again. Lake going to the NCAA is a move meant to tarnish USC with the threat of possible sanctions while trying to get Bush to settle. To me that's hollow. Reggie's has his millions and it is obvious he could care less about SC. If it is found that SC knew nothing, which is fairly certain at this point, and if Lake wins a judgment against Bush that's where USC might go after Lake.

Who knows where this goes, it has been a weird saga since the original story broke.