The key quotes

The main figures in the Reggie Bush investigation address the key events in their own words.

By Yahoo! Sports September 14, 2006
  • REGGIE BUSH (former USC running back)

    April 24, 2006 "When this is all said and done, everybody will see at the end of the day that we've done nothing – absolutely nothing wrong." … In an interview with ESPN, Bush responds to questions about his parents living in a house owned by New Era Sports financier Michael Michaels.

  • April 24, 2006 "Absolutely 100 percent not concerned." … Bush also tells ESPN he is not worried that USC might be punished for his family's financial ties to a sports agency.

  • April 26, 2006 "It would be very unprofessional for me to speak on that if I don't know all the details on it. I think it's best for me, obviously, to find out all the information and make sure everything I know is true before I speak on that." … In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bush comments on his family's financial ties to a sports agency.

  • April 26, 2006 "Obviously not. I was in Los Angeles trying to help my team win the national championship." … Bush answers the Los Angeles Times' questions over whether he knew the financial details of his parents' living arrangements.

  • April 27, 2006 "I'm confident and I know what the truth is. I know for a fact that everything is fine and this is all blown out of proportion and there's more to the story than is being told right now." … At a pre-draft meeting with reporters in New York City, Bush responds to further questions about his family's financial ties to New Era Sports.

  • April 27, 2006 "I've got to get back to football. My life is parallel to a horse race. They have blinders on to keep them from being distracted in the race and keep them focused on winning the race. That's kind of like my life. Focus on the goal, not the things coming at me from the side." … At the same pre-draft meeting with reporters, Bush answers questions about his family's living arrangements.

  • April 27, 2006 "I'd hope he is. I think he trusts me in my decisions and the type of person I am, and the decisions I make on and off the football field. I think it was important he heard it from my mouth." … Before the draft in New York, Bush also talks about whether USC coach Pete Carroll was satisfied with his explanation about the Bush family's living arrangements.

  • May 20, 2006 "A so-called lawsuit. I know how it's going to turn out." … Bush explains to the Los Angeles Times that he has been advised by his lawyer, David Cornwell, not to speak to NCAA and Pac-10 investigators while a civil suit from New Era Sports continues to be threatened.

  • PETE CARROLL (USC head coach)

    April 26, 2006 "I'm on my kids at every turn, every day, doing whatever I can to keep outside influences from clouding their thought processes." … Carroll talks to the Los Angeles Times about his effort to maintain a clean program.

  • April 26, 2006 "Think back to when you were in school. Did you know how your parents paid the mortgage?" … Carroll responds to the Los Angeles Times' question over whether Bush knew of his parents' arrangements while living in a house owned by a marketing agent.

  • May 2, 2006 "With the little bits of information that I have, no, I'm not worried about that one bit. I'm more concerned about helping the process and cooperating to make sure that everything comes to the front. I'm confident that's not where this is going." … In an interview with USA Today and the Associated Press, Carroll talks about the possibility of USC forfeiting games or being hit with NCAA sanctions.

  • May 2, 2006 "It looks to me like a classic case of people trying to create some kind of opportunity based on another person's good fortune. To me, it looks like somebody was out to get Reggie's money. I don't see it any other way." … Carroll also tells USA Today and the AP his thoughts on whether the living arrangements for Bush's parents look like a case of extra benefits.

  • LaMar Griffin

    LAMAR GRIFFIN (Bush's stepfather)

    April 24, 2006 "I have a lawyer to talk about that. I'm not even going to put my mouth on it." … In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, LaMar Griffin responds to questions about living in a house owned by New Era Sports financier Michael Michaels.

  • Denise Griffin

    DENISE GRIFFIN (Bush's mother)

    April 19, 2006 "I have absolutely nothing to say." … Denise Griffin keeps quiet after being approached by Yahoo! Sports at the Spring Valley, Calif., home owned by Michaels and is questioned about ties to New Era Sports.

  • David Cornwell

    DAVID CORNWELL (Bush's lawyer)

    April 24, 2006 "Mr. and Mrs. LaMar Griffin previously leased a house in the San Diego area from a San Diego businessman, Michael Michaels. They are no longer living in the house. … Reggie Bush was a full-time student at the University of Southern California and never lived in the house. As is the case with most 20-year-old college students, Reggie was not aware of personal or financial arrangements relating to his parents or their house. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin now realize that, given Reggie's public profile, their personal decisions can reflect on their son." … Cornwell gives the statement in a press release that explains the living situation of Bush's parents.

  • April 28, 2006 "We identified their scheme months ago and collected written evidence over the course of the months. And we provided that evidence to the NFL Players Association and NFL Security." … In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cornwell frames the lawsuit threats from New Era Sports as an attempt to extort money from Reggie Bush.

  • April 30, 2006 "We're going to do this in a way that's considered, focused and appropriate to protect my clients' interest. We'll be able to work our way through it, I'm sure." … Cornwell informs the Los Angeles Times of his plans to call the NCAA, Pac-10 and USC about the Bush family and its living arrangements.

  • May 11, 2006 "I'm not going to give the other side free discovery." … Cornwell tells the Los Angeles Times why he's decided not to make the Bush family available for questioning by the NCAA and Pac-10 while preparing for a threatened civil suit from New Era Sports representatives.

  • DAVID CARAVANTES (San Diego-based agent pursued by New Era Sports)

    April 24, 2006 "They were trying to get me in front of [Reggie Bush] during the interview process, which I was never a part of. They didn't try to recruit him for me. They thought it would be a good idea to have everything in San Diego. I think their concept was that they were going to deal with marketing, and they [needed] an agent. … If things worked out, we were going to try to put something together [to become business partners]. But everything was in waiting to see if they landed [Bush] to do the marketing. Nothing came of it." … Caravantes explains to the San Diego Union-Tribune what his role in New Era Sports would have been.

  • MARC CARLOS (Attorney who represented New Era Sports co-founder Lloyd Lake in parole violation hearings)

    Jan. 30, 2006 and Feb. 6, 2006"[Lloyd Lake] has been trying to get together a sports agency group. Apparently, they were in negotiations with recruiting Reggie Bush. And that matter is in litigation right now due to, I guess, representations made by Bush and his family to Mr. Lake's group. … Apparently, what happened is that Mr. Bush – or through his associates – had made some type of agreement with Mr. Lake's group, the sports agency group that they had. There was a meeting to have happened. It was supposed to be on a Saturday where they were going to discuss potential litigation – or a settlement involving Mr. Bush's involvement with that agency." … Carlos' court testimony explaining to U.S. District Court Judge M. James Lorenz.

  • Tom Hansen

    TOM HANSEN (Pac-10 commissioner)

    April 24, 2006 "It's conceivable you go all the way up to forfeiture of games, but you would have to have very, very solid evidence that there had been a major violation." … Hansen addresses the Los Angeles Times' question of whether USC would have to forfeit games Bush played in if NCAA rules were broken.

  • April 25, 2006 "I want to caution that's a long way from where we are now. I think all of us have seen so often there are allegations made, then you get to the heart of the matter [and] there's nothing there." … Hansen further discusses USC's possible forfeiture of games with the Los Angeles Times.

  • BILL HANCOCK, (BCS administrator)

    April 28, 2006 "[Vacating the national championship] is the type of thing the BCS might have to look into if other governing bodies, the conference and the NCAA, take action." … Hancock tells Yahoo! Sports in reference to USC's 2004 BCS title.

  • TIM HENNING (Heisman Trophy spokesman)

    April 25, 2006 "The recipient must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete." … Henning recites to the Los Angeles Times the criteria on the Heisman Trophy balloting.

  • MIKE ORNSTEIN (Bush's marketing agent)

    April 24, 2006 "I don't know where that story is coming from. I talked to Reggie and he has no idea where that's coming from, what his parents are paying for a house or anything." … In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Ornstein reacts to Yahoo! Sports' initial story that Bush's parents were living in a home owned by a man with ties to a marketing agency.

  • April 24, 2006 "This time of year, falsely or unfalsely, this is the stuff that comes up. It's a bunch of B.S." … Ornstein comments on the San Diego Union-Tribune story that links Bush's parents to a house owned by New Era Sports financier Michael Michaels – just a few days before Bush is selected second overall in the NFL draft.

  • April 25, 2006 "He's been to that house one time in 14 months, for Thanksgiving, probably not even for Christmas. How's he supposed to know what's going on?" … In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Ornstein reacts to the question of whether or not Bush knew about his parents' financial arrangements for the Spring Valley home.

  • April 25, 2006 "I don't know any of these people. I never met them, never heard of them." … Ornstein gives this answer when asked by the Los Angeles Times if he knew Michaels or Caravantes. Ornstein makes this statement after Ornstein's office was used in February 2006 for settlement negotiations between Michaels, Bush and Bush's mother, Denise. Sources have said that Ornstein sat in on that meeting.

  • BRIAN WATKINS (Attorney for New Era Sports co-founder Lloyd Lake and former attorney of New Era Sports financier Michael Michaels)

    April 27, 2006 "There was an agreement that they weren't supposed to live free and mooch in that house. They were supposed to pay rent. But they never paid one dime. Their premise for not paying was that, 'Next month, we'll pay you. Next month we'll pay you.' Then it got to the extent where they were saying, 'Well, don't worry about it. It's all guaranteed because we're going to be owners of this marketing and agency business. We'll give it to you out of our profits.' Twelve months passed by in that house, and not one dollar was paid." … Watkins alleges that Bush's family lived rent free in the Spring Valley house belonging to Michaels. He also tells Yahoo! Sports that the Bush family was expected to be an active participant in New Era Sports, with the USC star being the anchor client.

  • April 27, 2006 "There was the representation that Reggie would come with his stepfather. Reggie ratified that." … In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Watkins describes a meeting that occurred in November of 2004 when Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, approached Michaels and proposed a partnership in a new sports agency that would feature the USC star. Watkins alleges Bush agreed to go along with the venture.

  • April 27, 2006 "LaMar and Denise had financial problems. Then it became, 'Oh, we need a little something. We need a little money here, we need a little money there. But don't worry, it will all be paid back with our profits from the business.' They were saying this to Michael, who was carrying the lion's share of the money put into New Era." … Watkins explains to Yahoo! Sports how Bush's parents came to accrue over $100,000 in debts to Michaels.

  • April 27, 2006 "Yes, there was support there. The [Griffins] said, 'Don't worry about it. We'll pay it all back. It's all part of the business.' " … Watkins, in a discussion with Yahoo! Sports, details the finances provided by Michaels so the Bush family could travel to USC road games during the 2005 season.

  • April 27, 2006 "We're going to contend that [Reggie Bush and his family] never planned to go forward with this [agency]. They knew it was just a ruse. They were taking money and taking money and LaMar put very little work into it. It ended up being Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake doing all the leg work – Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake giving all the money and everything." … Watkins tells Yahoo! Sports about a yet-to-be-filed lawsuit in which Watkins will contend Bush and his family systematically bilked money from New Era financiers without ever intending to join the agency.

  • April 29, 2006 "As Griffin, Lake and Michaels began working on the technicalities of the company, ongoing meetings with Mr. Griffin began to reveal that Reggie's continued participation came with conditions. Mr. Griffin suggested that in order to 'keep them happy,' Michaels and Lake would have to help them with some of their personal problems. The first order of business was that Mr. Griffin needed to clear up some debt – a sum of $28,000 – in order to help him focus on the enterprise. The Griffins presented Mr. Michaels with a prepared spreadsheet of existing debt. Mr. Michaels paid $28,000 in good faith to settle the Griffins' debts. … In point of fact, Lamar and Denise Griffin, Reggie Bush's parents, with Reggie Bush's knowledge, defrauded our clients out of large sums of money by holding out the carrot of Bush's future football career in order to entice our clients to invest in their sports and entertainment company." … In a statement released to news organizations, Watkins details how Bush's parents incurred debts with New Era Sports while using the USC star as leverage to get bills paid off.

Updated on Thursday, Sep 14, 2006 7:30 pm, EDT

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