Tuesday, October 30, 2007


That's what it would cost.

According to Southwest Airlines' website, a single ticket leaving tomorrow morning from Indianapolis to San Diego and then returning on Friday would cost $718, plus taxes and fees.

$718 to resolve this once and for all. $718 to get someone on the record with first-hand information about what Reggie Bush and Southern Cal knew and when they knew it. $718 to get the actual information before Bush shows up with his checkbook and buys yet another person's silence.

Don't wait until Friday. Do it today. Get this done. Show college football the NCAA is a meaningful organization.

As an alumnus of a school that actually makes an effort to follow NCAA regulations, this charade with Bush's family and their hangers-on makes me physically ill. If Mike Michaels' obvious grab for Bush's cash by way of a lawsuit that bordered on extortion wasn't enough evidence of the raging fire behind this smoke, Lloyd Lake's identical ploy this week almost makes it a certainty.

Reggie Bush took cash. Reggie Bush received multiple inducements worth many thousands of dollars that are illegal under NCAA rules. To believe otherwise fails any possible reasonable-person test. The evidence, while in some cases circumstantial, is overwhelming. And yet the Pete Carroll-led Trojan program sits in the corner, hands over its ears, repeatedly screaming, "I can't hear you I can't hear you la la la la la la la la".

The facts are plain. USC cheats. USC lies. The Trojans can't win if they follow the rules, as evidenced by the two decades prior to Carroll's arrival, so they take the path of least resistance. They're a renegade program, no better than Miami of the 1980s or SMU of the 1970s. And as far as I can tell, their administrators and alumni and the Raider-nation band-wagoners that fill the Coliseum these days feel no shame.

Worst yet, nothing will happen of any consequence here. Bush will throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at Lake sometime in the next 24 hours or so, and Lake will then close up like a clam. The NCAA will whine about its lack of subpoena power, and SC will go unpunished because "there's no evidence".

It makes one wonder what the point is to following the rules. Those who break them are never truly punished. Abe Lemmon sure knew what side of the bread the butter was on.

As a fan of a program that does comply with the regs, it's incredibly frustrating. Then again, ethical behavior sometimes is. If it was easy to do, it wouldn't be meaningful.

But that doesn't mean the easy path should be taken. How wonderful would it be for the NCAA, for once, to show it has sack and preemptively punish the Trojans? After all, if they have evidence exonerating them from blame, they can certainly present it.

How cool would it be for the Downtown Athletic Club to display an equal level of testicular fortitude and demand Reggie Bush come clean or lose his trophy?

Wouldn't such integrity be wonderful? It'd certainly be a welcome change of pace in this whole sordid affair.

A couple weeks ago, someone suggested on Rock's House that the ND/SC series become a casualty of this Trojan malfeasance. At the time, I dismissed it as ridiculous. But now, I'm not so sure. I realize the law-abiding programs in the NCAA are few and far between, but ND should make it a point to favor them. Say what you want about BC and their fans, for example (and I've said plenty), but they graduate their players and they follow the rules. Maybe they're a better choice here.

I used to respect USC as ND's only rival, but I'm not sure I can do that anymore.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't agree with your statement that, "The Trojans can't win if they follow the rules, as evidenced by the two decades prior to Carroll's arrival, so they take the path of least resistance."

The fact is that USC cheated during the prior two decades, just as they cheat now. However, cheating under the leadership of lousy coaches is not productive. Academic requirements where ignored. E.g., the special "make-up" classes held during Xmas break for Charlie White and others who otherwise would've been academically ineligible for the Rose Bowl.

10/30/2007 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if the NCAA isn't doing anything about this, why isn't the IRS taking action? If Bush and/or his family took money or gifts, they owe taxes on it. NCAA rules aren't the only rules that were violated.

10/31/2007 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a guy who was an extremely good player for Tom Coughlin at BC back in the early 90's, and he actually BRAGS about how little he did in the classroom while at BC. He actually embraces the "dumb jock" persona, and loves to tell people how he graduated from BC and basically did nothing but play football.
So please be careful when annointing another university as an institution that "does it right". BC is a fine college, and any student interested in actually getting an education would find its resources to be excellent, or even world class. But the fact remains that BC, even under a notoriously strict coach such as Coughlin, is more than willing to turn a blind eye in order to accomodate the welfare of its athletic program(s).
I always enjoy your work, Geetar.

10/31/2007 07:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tutored a freshman ND football player in 1956-57. Entering tests attested that he was the smartest kid to enter ND that year, but playing football and going to class at ND was so tough that he needed some help. He did his work and did fine academically, winding up with the Detroit Lions. A more famous player for that year came into his dorm room one night and, throwing himself across the bed, complained of the school work, saying he had been offered a scholarship at a small western university and promised he'd never have to worry about school work or having enough money. I asked him why he chose ND. His answer was that if he became unable to play he'd still have his scholarship; ND wouldn't dump him. He also did well at ND and wound up for years with the SF 49ers.

10/31/2007 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with dropping USC at this point in time, even if it were for noble reasons, is how it will be spun. "ND's been beaten badly 5 of the last 6 meetings, they can't compete, so they're quitting." I'm not sure the program needs that right now.

10/31/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger ROB_ROI said...

Actually anonymous, the receiver of a gift doesn't owe taxes at all, only the giver.

Regardless, it pisses me off how we got completely leveled by the ncaa in the early nineties because of that strumpet Kim Dunbar that wasn't even associated with nd all because she took Rossum to a bulls game.

And these guys flagrantly violate the rules with no penalty...unbelievable.

10/31/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your an idiot if you think that USC v. ND should be stopped over this. As far as BC being the replacement, this makes you a bigger idiot. How many times in the last thirty years has BC been relevant as a national championship contender? We are ND. We should demand to play one of the toughest schedules year in, and year out. Getting rid of USC does not make our program more relevant. It makes our program less relevant. Cheats or not we can compete on USC's level.

10/31/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second this story broke (Charles Robinson/ Yahoo Sports) I knew it could be the Watergate of college football. I have not heard a peep from him since. The story resurfaced once, went away. Resurfaced a third time, and again...went away. But then the horses left the barn. Bush signed the biggest endorsement deal for a rookie in the history of the NFL, Katrina, and the subsequent PR move by his people that made him look like a (no pun intenended) Saint for rebuilding the city of New Orleans. Money talks.

As a resident of Los Angeles (and a loyal subway alumni of ND) I am as close to this story as I was to the OJ trial and if OJ can get off, then so can Reggie and USC.... again. At the end of the day, everyone knows the truth about these people and if they want to walk around like they're innocent, so be it.

However, I disagree with dropping the series against them. The only justice that we can serve are victories over a school that cheats and still can't win.

10/31/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Irish_Wertzy said...


The receiver of the gift would have to pay taxes on anything over $10,000 (per person). That is the max tax free gift allowed.

I am not sure why the giver would have to pay taxes on money he is giving away, since he already paid taxes on it as part of his income.

That being said. Depsite all this about Bush, little will happen (penalty wise) to USC unless the NCAA can determine that the administration/coaching staff etc knew about it. The NCAA can still void USC's wins if RB is determined to be ineligble, but the Heisman and the National Championship are not NCAA determined events (the polls/BCS determines the NC, and the Heisman trophy is awarded by vote as well, not specifically anything to do with the NCAA)

10/31/2007 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Dropping them would be a disaster. It's a no win situation if ND took them off the schedule. Whether or not USC gets their just punishment, (my guess is they won't) it's going to be a whole lot more fun when the Irish turn this around and start popping them the way they've been popping us. Just let them be what they are. Let's concentrate on what we do, which is the ND way.

10/31/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point about the IRS is dead on. The benefits provided by the agent were not intended as "gifts" - otherwise, the agent could not sue to obtain the money back now. While it may have been a question of fact whether a gift was intended before, it is clear now that the agent considers the money and free rent as benefits for which he's entitled to recompense, and not gifts. In essence, this lawsuit and the previous lawsuit make clear that these benefits were not intended as gifts; rather, they were payments for anticipated services. Thus, they were (and are) reportable income. Bush and his family committed tax evasion (a felony) by not reporting the benefits on their respective tax returns. (Furthermore, regarding the point about the $10,000 limitation - that is the threshold amount above which it is necessary to fill out a gift tax return. While it's not illegal to give anyone a gift, of whatever amount, you must report it if it's over $10,000; otherwise, the payments are regarded as part of your gross income.)

The IRS has subpoena power and the failure to report and evasion of taxes falls squarely in its jurisdication. The IRS has abdicated its responsibility to the taxpayers by not prosecuting this. Moreover, the confidentiality clauses in the settlements are not an excuse; the IRS is not bound by the confidentiality agreements of the settlements. Bush and his family can plead the 5th Amendment - but, that's about it. (And, there is some case law that questions whether the 5th amendment attaches to tax proceedings.) The agents can be forced to testify by an assertive IRS agent.

By the way, if you call the IRS and report the tax evasion, you can receive a bounty if the IRS collects.

10/31/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dumb is Reggie Bush? By stroking a check to the dudes who gave him $291,000, and another check to the IRS for back taxes on that amount, he would be able to put this entire episode to bed. That would be enough to preserve his current image, which is good enough to warrant untold millions in endorsement compensation, as well as keeping the NCAA off his back because none of the scumbags involved would be willing to divulge what really happened once they were paid. It would also insure that he would not have to relinquish that big, bronze trophy of the player with the outstretched stiff arm. Hell, I'm surprised that Pete Carroll himself, or Adidas, or some other financially interested party doesn't pay off everybody to make this story just go away. Maybe FEMA could pay it all since Reggie Bush, aside from God Himself, is the only entity that can return that festering sewer known lovingly as "Nawlins" back to its original condition.
And ND should absolutely never allow their rivalry with USC to be abolished. It's classic Good vs. Evil, and ND is not playing the role of Evil.

10/31/2007 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . I also know of a former outstanding member of the ND backfield who grabbed his tutor and yelled (screamed?)when asked to remove his headphones during his "tutoring" session . . .
I only mention this because we are not the purest of the pure!

10/31/2007 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

Sorry, but I don't equate having a player wearing headphones during a tutoring session as ND somehow being "not pure".

10/31/2007 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not a usc fan by any means but, you guys are talking like usc is blatantly cheating. i don't think anybody can argue bush took money but, the problem is how do you prove usc knew of it. that's all usc people care about because that can hurt the program. and don't act like nd is any better. good vs. evil, please! get a life.

10/31/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's now or never. If the NCAA doesn't go after this now, it's a real crime. The burning Bush is ablaze. It can't be ignored.


10/31/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the IRS should treat cash Bush and/or his family received, if any, for his playing football and staying for his Sr. year as income. They would likely do that if this were not a political issue.

10/31/2007 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, an ESPN crawl stated that the NCAA was to meet with Lloyd Lake the next day. I have not seen anything since. My guess is that the meeting took place. (fingers crossed)

The problem with Lake is that he has a very checkered past (criminal record, bankruptcy, etc.). Does he really have enough "evidence" to show Bush was on the take? Or, is he just a BSer?

All in all, if SC comes out of this clean, schools will copy and stonewall future NCAA investigations. So, the reality is, SC HAS TO get hit hard for Bush's actions.

All joking aside, the NCAA is full of smart, intelligent lawyers. Their job is to uncover the facts, present the case and levy a penalty. Yes, it will take time, but when they strike, it will be severe.

10/31/2007 02:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your remarks regarding the purity of the Notre Dame program. We stick to the rules, even to our detriment, and our fans can be confident that we're always running a clean program. Keep up the good work.

-Kim Dunbar

10/31/2007 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

The trouble with your analogy, Kim, is you weren't associated with ND in any way. You were never in a locker room or on the sidelines for a game, and none of ND's assistant coaches even knew who you were, let alone had dinner with you.

Yes, the assistants probably should have known who you were and where your money was coming from, and I'm disappointed they were lax in their oversight. Then again, assistants don't always grill their players as to who they're dating. That you chose to steal from your employer to facilitate your need for jock-sniffing attention was equally unfortunate. But none of it is related to ND at all, nor was it meant to gain any kind of competitive advantage. Ergo, irrelevant.

10/31/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a huge ND fan. I know USC cheats, as does all of L.A. & Orange County. I'm sure the NCAA knows, they are simply inept. However, you should stop your slanderous remarks regarding California. I've read many acticles that contain little jabs at the people & culture here. Your alienating the loyal Irish followers who live here. It's a nice place with nice people. I'm sure you have enjoyed our hospitality in the past. Focus your attention on the issue. Don't lump it all together.

10/31/2007 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NCAA has not shown it has any integrity or courage in the past when 'big time programs' are known to have violated NCAA Guidelines/rules.

Does anyone remember the fact that the FABFive were given over $600,000 by a booster.....some while they were still in highschool (to get them to enroll at Michigan), and the NCAA was aware of this gross violation and NOTHING FOR ABOUT 7 YEARS despite the continued questions being raised by two (African American) Detroit paper sports writers.

Michigan just played deaf and dumb and never acknowledged this gross example of cheating, and it wasn't until a new university president came in to Michigan that the university finally policed itself.

The NCAA did nothing about this cheating and EVERYONE IN THE SPORTS WORLD AND AT MICHIGAN knew that big time money was being paid to the FAB Five.

Don't hold your breath for the NCAA to do anything that requires guts or integrity.

As for the Heisman Trophy people...well, it's become a popularity contest...not the best college player award. They won't do anything to Bush either.

10/31/2007 08:50:00 PM  
Anonymous The Domer said...

Just a quick reminder. While we all can agree on our feelings of USC, please remember that BC has a HUGE gambling scandel (point shaving) under it's belt, and not much really happened to them either.

10/31/2007 09:36:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home