Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reggie Bush Just Can’t Keep USC Out of Trouble

Reggie Bush seems to have a problem with USC. Well, actually it’s the other way around. USC has a problem with Reggie Bush, particularly with the fact that he keeps on getting his former university in trouble.

Reggie’s “house gate” has received a lot of pub in recent months but now he may or may not have helped USC land a top rated recruit depending on which story you listen to at which time. The problem for USC is that it is against NCAA recruiting rules for a former player to help out in the recruiting process.

The recruit in question is Joe McKnight who signed his letter of intent a week ago today and then told an interesting story about a phone conversation he had with the former Heisman trophy winner from USC. McKnight said Pete Carroll set up a conference call so he and his high school football coach J.T. Curtis could talk to Bush and ease concerns USC might face sanctions from the house gate incident.

Once the L.A. Times reported the story along with the fact that it would have been a rules violation stories began to change. Pete Carroll denied that any phone call took place which created back peddling and claims that McKnight was just misunderstood.

Initially Curtis had told the Times that, "Coach Carroll was talking to Reggie on the speakerphone and Joe was able to listen and hear Reggie Bush's side of the story." However, after Carroll’s deny Curtis’ story changed. "He said when they came in his house, the discussion was brought up about probation and that's when the conversation came up that they had talked to Reggie, but Joe was not there," Curtis said.

Are you as confused as I am? So, there were questions over possible probation in which Reggie Bush was called to ease a kid’s mind in order to get him to commit, right? However, when notified that the call in question could actually lead to probation it all of a sudden never happened in spite of the fact that two people are on record saying that it did.

The thing is that Reggie Bush could have actually been an innocent victim here. He just answered a phone call from his former coach to explain to a recruit how he can work the system to get his parents a free house…er…I mean tell the kid not to worry about probation because the NCAA seems to be closing its eyes to USC’s infractions…er…I mean tell the kid that to his knowledge he had done nothing wrong during his years as a Trajan. Its Pete Carroll’s job to know the rules and if this phone call did take place then Carroll did violate the rules and all Reggie Bush is guilty of is being on the other end of the line.

So how do you retract a story that hundreds people heard about a phone call to Reggie Bush for the sake of recruiting? You really can’t but J.T. Curtis gives it his best shot. "At the press conference, it seemed like he got 1,000 questions in five minutes," Curtis said. "If you saw what was going on it would be easier to understand.