Monday, April 24, 2006

USC Scandal


Pac-10 to investigate family residence of Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush is expected to go No. 1 in Saturday's draft.

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. — The proof that Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush's family resided at a Spring Valley home during Bush's junior season is etched in concrete. Scrawled in all-capital letters on the driveway of the home in this suburban community just southeast of San Diego is the "THE GRIFFIN'S '05." That refers to Bush's mother, Denise Griffin, stepfather LaMar Griffin and younger half-brother. The family lived there until Thursday, when a reporter from The Miami Herald came to ask about the ownership of the home. On Friday, moving trucks showed up to take the family's belongings. As the former USC running back prepares to become the likely No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft on Saturday, questions persist about whether NCAA rules were violated because of ties between his relatives and the owner. Documents reviewed by the newspaper show that the $757,000 house at the corner of Apple and Luther streets was purchased by Michael Michaels, a member and employee of a prominent Indian tribe in the San Diego area. Two sources said Michaels was planning to form a marketing and contract agency that would feature Bush as a client.

The connection between Michaels and the Griffins and how they came to live in the home could constitute a violation of NCAA eligibility rules for Bush and USC. The story was first reported by on Sunday. After being contacted by The Herald, USC said the school was forwarding the matter to the Pac-10 for investigation. Pac-10 spokesman Jim Muldoon told The Associated Press on Sunday that an investigation will be held. A source within the NCAA said it is likely the organization also will conduct an investigation. "Rather than jumping to conclusions, we need to determine the facts before commenting on this report," Trojans athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement released by the school Friday. "We have asked the Pac-10 to look into this." On Thursday, Denise Griffin, Bush's mother, declined to comment when asked about the matter by a Herald reporter. The next day, moving trucks were at the home where Bush's relatives resided during much of the 2005 football season, when Bush was playing for USC. According to NCAA guidelines, the relationship between the family and Michaels could constitute a violation, even if Bush had no knowledge of the relationship. Neighbors of Bush's family members said the family had been living at the home since last year. Michaels purchased the home in April 2005, shortly after it was built.


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