Not in time for Christmas, darn it, but sure to make for cozy fireside reading nonetheless; the new Reggie Bush book, Don Yaeger's Tarnished Heisman, is here. Is this the Game of Shadows of college football? There's apparently enough evidence of financial impropriety involving Bush at USC to make that case (Adam Rose of the Los Angeles Times reviews the whole thing here). And like the Bonds steroids issue, none of it is totally unexpected. It now just depends on how far the NCAA and the BCS are willing to go with their own investigations; it's kind of sobering to realize that It all could end with Bush losing his Heisman, and USC forfeiting its national championship.
The book's case against Bush is built heavily on the testimony of one man, Lloyd Lake, who is at the center of the controversy. Lake, a convicted felon whose past in examined in the book, allegedly provided or arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits for Bush and his family, much of which went directly to into the hands the USC football star. Lake goes so far as to claim that Bush was the one lobbying to further the partnership in clear violated of NCAA regulations. He says Bush had to convince him to follow through, urging, "Let's do it," in a face-to-face meeting.
I would suggest picking up a copy just so that you'll have something to read to your kids at bedtime.
YOU: "In February 2005, Bush asked for and was given $13,000 — by Lake — for the purchase of a car, a 1996 black Impala SS."
BOBBY: "Was it a fast car, daddy?"
YOU: "Yes. And Reggie wanted to upgrade the car and received another $4,000 from Lake for a new stereo, tinted windows, and high-performance tires and rims."
BOBBY: "That's called 'pimping,' right, daddy?"
BOBBY: "Will you read it to me again?"
Coincidentally or not, the Falcons chose the same day to say that they'd like to talk with Pete Carroll about their coaching vacancy. At any rate, it's all a lot more interesting than the BCS title game.
Carroll reportedly has no interest in the Falcons' job. Huh. Can't imagine why not.