February 04, 2011
It wasn't a great rookie season for former USC defensive end Everson Griffen, and the ending – featuring two separate arrests and one tasering in 72 hours last weekend – was much worse. But that was last weekend: This weekend, Griffen isn't about to let his legal troubles keep him from a Super Bowl trip to Las Vegas – or from inviting anyone in Los Angeles willing to pitch in $100 for expenses from coming along for the ride.
Shockingly, USC officials moved swiftly to ban all current Trojans from the trip, for some reason, especially after they found out a pair of familiar troublemakers may be involved with Griffen behind the scenes. From ESPN Los Angeles:
LOS ANGELES -- USC athletic administrators have banned all football players from attending a trip to Las Vegas organized by current NFL player and former Trojans defensive end Everson Griffen this weekend for the Super Bowl, a school spokesperson confirmed Thursday.
Athletic director Pat Haden and vice president for athletic compliance David Roberts sent an e-mail to the team and the same e-mail to all student-athletes Thursday, saying they believed former USC linebacker Jordan Campbell and the event-planning organization 1st Round Entertainment were also behind the trip. 1st Round Entertainment is run by USC student Teague Egan, a former NFL agent who had his license revoked by the NFL Players Association in December after he was found to have given a free golf cart ride to USC tailback Dillon Baxter.
"Because of the NCAA rules concerning gambling, impermissible extra benefits and the conduct of agents, we believe that there is a significant chance that the eligibility of any student-athlete who participates in such a trip would be jeopardized," Haden and Roberts wrote in the e-mail, which was obtained by ESPNLosAngeles.com. "Therefore, you are not permitted to partake or participate in the Super Bowl Weekend trip that has been arranged and promoted by Mr. Griffen or Mr. Campbell under any circumstances."
You have to hand it to our friend Teague Egan: He may be easy to dislike, but he's obviously not going to make himself easy for USC to dismiss. For his part, Griffen denied in a Facebook entry that he had anything to do with Egan's fledgling "agency," and that he'd addressed any possible concerns over NCAA violations. "I would like to make it clear that this event has exclusively been financed for and arranged by myself, with no association to Jordan Campbell or 1st Round Entertainment," he wrote. "I must ask that you do not prohibit the student-athlete body from attending an event that is operating legally by all NCAA standards."
On the other hand, Griffen also set off sirens in the Trojan compliance department when he told ESPN L.A. in a text message that he's "a businessman" – you know, just grindin' for a living, man. "I'm trying to start my promoting business, I'm not doing everything at all," he wrote. "Just bring everyone down to Vegas for superbowl weekend for 100 dollars. I'm not paying for anything."
Seriously, guys, all we're talking about here is a recently arrested NFL player who fashions himself as a promoter, with possible connections to a student who fashions himself as an agent, offering players from a recently sanctioned program a ride to "Sin City" for one of the biggest party dates of the year. They're paying – a hundred bucks! What do you think could possibly go wrong with this scenario?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.