What looked like a surefire "WHOA" last night in our inbox looks more like a certified "Myehhh" this morning as a sleazoid marketeer named Michael Michaels allegedly bought a $750,000 house in Spring Valley, California and allowed Reggie Bush's family to live in it during Bush's senior junior year at USC, all in an attempt to get Bush to sign with San Diego agent David Caravantes.
Sinbad's got nothing on Denise Griffin. Too bad Phil Hartman couldn't make the sequel.
Let's break this down by the two likely threads of the story:
OMIGOD USC IS GOING TO HAVE TO LIKE FORFEIT LIFE, RIGHT? Of course this is what you were thinking when you first read the story. Like us, you're the one who, upon hearing of a planet-sized asteroid several million light years away that might be edging into the earth's neighborhood, makes your scheme for spending your last minutes on earth in detail. (Hint: orgy in a liquor store would just be the start.) This story is like program AIDS for USC, right?
Not quite--if Bush had an alternate residence, which he supposedly did, then there's no specific link that Bush used his family as a proxy to live in a house during his senior year while the rest of the world spent their senior year dreading elephantine student loans and tripping over the XBox cords snaking across the floor of their undoubtedly crappy apartment. Furthermore, a sketchy, Lionel Hutch-style agent's scheme to woo Reggie Bush into a marketing/agent marriage doesn't constitute the deadly "lack of institutional control" factor that gets the NCAA all heeby-jeeby and sometimes results in whole seasons getting forfeited. In fact, no direct links to USC exist at this point, so UCLA fans, please put down the gris-gris and stop lighting votives--there's no institutional connection here.
Storyline strength: weak tea.
Reggie Bush and his family are, well...kind of trashy. A more likely suspect in the case since we've got some ample evidence for it. Bush's mom, stepfather, and brother all piled into the house on Reggie's dime, lived there for a year without considering the potential complications, and fled the house like Irish Travelers once reporters came around sniffing out the real owners of the house. Bush needs to take some trash points, too, since he allowed the whole thing to occur and had to have known about the deal from step one without ever seeing anything remotely fishy about his parents using him as a walking housing subsidy. (Not that you don't need one in Southern California's insane real estate market, but still.)
Our favorite image of the story is this:
Reporter: [knock knock] Hi, ma'am. We'd like to know if you know a man named Michael Michaels. We're from the Associated Press.
Bush's mom: Umm, no. Would you excuse me for a moment? (Shuts door; voices from behind door begin screaming, muffled but still clearly audible.) GET YOUR SHIT AND RUN! RUN! GET IN THE MOTHERFUCKING CAR AND RUN BITCHES! AAAAIIIIGGGHHH!!!
(A Range Rover runs straight through the aluminum garage door at this point, runs over the mailbox, and then hits a parked car before peeling out and heading to the nearest Holiday Inn Express.)
Reporter: Umm...bingo, right?
Storyline strength: Turkish coffee with extra sludge at the bottom.
The greatest thing about this story is that after a year and a half of putting up the Bush family for free, the agent/sleazoid marketeer in question got exactly Jack Schitt from the deal; Bush signed with another agent and marketing firm altogether, leaving the duo with a fine real estate investment that, thanks to inquiring minds, is now ready for immediate move-in.
Summary judgement: less Antonio Langham, more Tank Black. San Jose State forced to give up 3 scholarships and forfeit entire 1973 season.