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Friday, April 28th 2006

Off Topic Given The World With a Side of Controversy

The angry owner of the house USC star tailback Reggie Bush’s family was living in, says he knew about his relationship with his parents and that the family skipped out on rent.

The landlord, Michael Michaels, said that Bush’s mother and stepfather agreed to pay $4,500 in monthly rent when they moved into the Spring Valley house he bought for $757,000 in March 2005, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday.

They didn’t pay for the first few months but promised to pay when the Heisman Trophy-winner started earning millions of dollars after turning pro, said Michaels, who described himself as a real estate investor.

Michaels’ attorney, Brian Watkins, claimed that Bush was made aware of the situation and also promised to repay the debt when he turned professional, according to a report in Friday’s Los Angeles Times.

A source close to Bush told ESPN’s Joe Schad that while the family had at first agreed to pay rent on the San Diego home, they quickly realized there was no way they could afford to. After falling behind on payments, the family will claim, however, that they were repeatedly told not to worry, that they would not be evicted.

“Originally there was a rental agreement, but they never paid a dime,” Watkins told the Times. “It was always, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll pay you — you can take it out of our profits.”‘

Bush, however, did not sign with Michaels’ firm, New Era Sports & Entertainment LLC, which Watkins said the running back’s stepfather helped found. Relations with the family deteriorated and Watkins sent the player’s parents an eviction notice on April 3, a copy of which he showed the Union-Tribune.

Bush’s parents, LaMar and Denise Griffin, moved out of the house last week. Bush has said his parents left because they found another place to live.

Watkins said he plans to file a $3.2 million fraud lawsuit against Bush’s parents and possibly Bush. The sum includes $300,000 in money that Michaels claims he and another investor, a documented gang member named Lloyd Lake, put into the business, plus punitive damages.

Bush turns around and says Michaels and his marketing firm threatened him when he refused to be represented by them for his NFL debut.

The NFL Players Association and NFL Security have concluded that sports agent David Caravantes and fledgling marketing company New Era Sports used an attorney to try and force USC running back Reggie Bush to pay them $3.2 million after Bush decided not to sign with the group, sources told ESPN’s Joe Schad on Thursday.

According to the sources, Caravantes threatened to reveal embarrassing personal information about the Bush family if he did not receive the money. Sources also say Caravantes tried to evict the family from a San Diego house they rented from his business associate Michael Michaels.

Meanwhile, Irish Trojan sums up the Mark Sanchez rape allegation.

He apparently enters the only bar within walking distance of USC (which is notorious for letting in underage drinkers) around 11:20. He leaves, alone, around 1:00 am and is next seen when he, clearly drunk, offers to help two fellow students help push their car which has run out of gas. This is around 1:30 am.

Earlier reports stated that the alleged victim says Sanchez [assaulted her] at or around 12:30 a.m. But the Daily News says he met her at Cardinal Gardens around 1:30 a.m. or shortly thereafter. So, there is an inconsistency in the timeline there. What conclusions we should draw from that is anybody’s’ guess at this point.

He must have met her around or after 1:30 am seeing that the 9-0 and then two students can attest to his actions and whereabouts before then.

In anycase there’s some reports that the rape may lead to Mark Sanchez losing his eligibility under NCAA rules. Such is a minor side effect obviously in the big scheme of things.

What a mess for everyone involved.