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The Ornstein Angle

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It hard not to miss all the speculation around the whole Bush mess with the book about to be released and the website now launched. A lot of SC fans are taking a wait and see attitude before passing judgment while others are letting their thoughts be known about the whole sorted mess. Most fans have taken the attitude that if SC didn't know than how can they be punished and many point to the similar problem that Charles Woodson at Michigan went through s he was leaving school. I think that approach is fool hardy and people should be prepared for the worst.

I would prefer to take a wait and see approach but the more I read the more it's hard to ignore the hurricane that is about to come. As I said earlier in the comments section here the relationship with Mike Ornstein troubles me more than the Bush family being involved with New Era. SC and the NCAA knew and approved of Bush working for Ornstein so it would have been their responsibility to monitor their relationship in order to keep an eye out for any funny business. When Ornstein was fired by Bush it signaled an interesting turn of events as to how Bush was going to fight the allegations of this whole situation.

Ornstein obviously wanted Bush to settle so that Bush's image wouldn't be tarnished and it was clear that if Bush settled Ornstein wouldn't be exposed as to being involved in any wrongdoing. Obviously Ornstein wants to be able to keep a good relationship with USC and this situation could threaten that if he was complicit in any money changing hands with the Bush clan. This is where SC gets hurt because the NCAA could determine that SC should have known and that is where they can rule against SC.

The copies of the receipts allegedly showing where Ornstein paid for Bush's parents to fly to Berkeley to me is more damning, Ornstein should have known better and that will be difficult for him to explain away and that is where SC will get hurt. Lloyd Lake and his ilk may be the face of this mess but Ornstein has his own checkered past and his actions could do more to hurt SC than anything Lake and his crew could dream up. Lake is a pariah no doubt but while we are busy wagging our fingers at him very little is being said about Ornstein who I feel is just as bad and he may have done more behind the scenes to hurt SC than anything else that has been alleged.

It's clear that Bush could care less about SC; his unwillingness to settle with Lake opened the door for all that we are seeing now. Bush's attorney is more concerned about the possibility of Bush being the victim of extortion, which is why they chose to fight Lake on this issue. But to me they have missed the boat because Bush's image is already tarnished, and he will be forever known for this mess. With Bush's NFL career lack luster at his point and with his college career long since being finished this is what Reggie's will be remembered for. SC's image is tarnished and the fans are now angry and embarrassed.

My anger is less about the money that has allegedly changed hands than the smugness in which Bush is putting forth. People make mistakes and I can see how easy it is to be tempted so most decent people would forgive certain crimes of the heart, but to continue to act in such a way that embarrasses the school and spits in the fans faces to me is abhorrent. I am prepared for the sanctions that, in my eyes, are sure to come but if the sanctions are in reference to Ornstein SC will only have itself to blame because they didn't monitor that situation more carefully.

Where it goes from here is anybodies guess.