TEMPE, Ariz. – The NCAA Committee on Infractions met with University of Southern California officials Friday, the second of three scheduled sessions to discuss an investigation into the school's football and men's basketball programs.
A development in a related lawsuit could give the committee more evidence to ponder.
Michael Michaels, a former marketing agent who allegedly helped provide much of the approximately $300,000 in extra benefits reportedly received by former USC running back Reggie Bush, is now scheduled to give a deposition in a civil lawsuit against Bush on March 5 in San Diego.
During the deposition, Michaels, who received a settlement reportedly worth $300,000 from Bush in 2007, is expected to corroborate the claims of fellow former marketing agent Lloyd Lake. Lake is suing Bush for failing to follow through on an agreement the three men had to open a marketing firm – New Era Sports & Entertainment.
Lake's attorney, Brian Watkins, confirmed the date and the location of the deposition. The NCAA has sought to talk to Michaels because he reached a settlement with Bush. Michaels has been unable to speak because the settlement included a confidentiality clause. But that clause does not apply to other legal proceedings if Michaels is subpoenaed.
Watkins said he and partner Paul Wong have filed a subpoena of Michaels and submitted that paperwork to Bush's attorney. Michaels' deposition can be shared publicly. Bush's former attorneys previously had argued unsuccessfully that Michaels' deposition should remain private.
The NCAA could include the deposition as evidence in its investigation of the USC programs. The Committee on Infractions generally takes six-to-eight weeks to reach a decision on investigations.
NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn declined to comment since the case is ongoing.
NCAA rule Section 220.127.116.11, subtitled "Request for New Information," establishes that the committee can request information, such as the deposition.
"In arriving at its determinations, the Committee on Infractions may request additional information from any source, including the institution, the enforcement staff or an involved individual," the rule reads. "In the event that new information is requested from the institution, the enforcement staff or an involved individual to assist the Committee on Infractions, all parties will be afforded an opportunity to respond at the time such information is provided to the Committee on Infractions."
The Committee on Infractions hearings Friday lasted more than 10 hours. USC running backs coach Todd McNair, a central figure in the investigation because of his alleged knowledge of the benefits Bush reportedly received, spent much of the day in the session. It was McNair's second day in front of the committee.
Former USC men's basketball coach Tim Floyd was in Tempe awaiting a chance to speak to the committee regarding the investigation. Floyd's lawyers, Jim Darnell and David Scheper, said Floyd would stay until Saturday, when the committee hopes to wrap up the meeting.
The men's basketball program has already self imposed sanctions, including a ban from postseason competition this season. The sanctions came after an ESPN report that former USC star O.J. Mayo and his representatives allegedly received improper benefits from an agent. Yahoo! Sports later reported that Floyd paid at least $1,000 to Mayo associate Rodney Guillory in February of 2007.
Floyd resigned from USC shortly after the report by Yahoo! Sports. He has denied any wrongdoing.
- Reggie Bush