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Friday, September 15, 2006

Reggie Bush and Parents In Big PR Trouble - Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo! Sports has made some great moves to place itself more in the middle of the sports Zeitgeist and this story is one example. Yahoo! financed the investigative reporting work of Charles Robinson and Jason Cole and in turn, they've uncovered a blockbuster story.

They have detailed -- detailed -- evidence that Reggie Bush's family took improper benefits from people associated with Mike Orenstein, who I said Bush should have fired some time ago. I didn't know he worked at Mike's marketing firm as an intern, however. But that's for another day.

This is what the Yahoo! reporters learned:

$595.20 in round-trip airfare from San Diego to Oakland in November 2005 for Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, his mother, Denise Griffin and younger brother to attend the USC-California game at Berkeley. The fees were charged to the credit card of Jamie Fritz, an employee of Ornstein. The document detailing the charges was provided by Lee Pfeifer, an estranged business associate of Ornstein's.
$250.65 for limousine transportation from the Oakland airport to the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco that November weekend for the Bush family, charged to Fritz, according to a document. Ornstein acknowledged both he and Bush's family stayed at the luxury hotel.
Additionally, New Jersey memorabilia dealer Bob DeMartino alleges that Ornstein provided:

Suits for Bush's stepfather and brother to wear during the Dec. 10, 2005 Heisman ceremony in New York, a makeover for his mother for the event and limousine transportation;
Weekly payments of at least $1,500 to the Bush family.
Documents and multiple sources also link Bush and his family to receiving benefits from New Era's financial backers, including:

$623.63 for a hotel stay by Bush at the Venetian Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from March 11-13, 2005, charged to Michaels, according to a document signed by Bush.
$1,574.86 for a stay by Bush at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego from March 4-6, 2005, paid for by Michaels, according to a hotel document, a hotel employee and a source.
Approximately $13,000 to Bush from New Era to purchase and modify a car, three sources said.
As reported by Yahoo! Sports in April, $54,000 in rent-free living for a year at Michaels' $757,500 home in Spring Valley, Calif., according to Michaels and San Diego attorney Brian Watkins.
Also from previous Yahoo! reports, $28,000 from Michaels to help Bush's family settle pre-existing debt, according to Michaels and Watkins.
Thousands of dollars in spending money to both Bush and his family from the prospective agents, according to multiple sources.

If these charges are proved to be true, it could sound the death tone for USC Football as we know it, because the NCAA would have to take away the national championships won by the Trojans Football program, and issue scholorship limits that would harm future recruiting efforts, although Yahoo!'s Josh Peter disgrees with this.

Stay tuned.


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