Former USC running back Reggie Bush has been ordered to give a deposition April 23 in regard to a lawsuit filed against him in the ongoing investigation of whether or not he received inappropriate funds and gifts.
San Diego-based sports marketer Lloyd Lake has filed suit in San Diego County Superior Court looking to recoup nearly $300,000 in gifts and cash that Lake and his marketing firm allegedly provided to Bush and his family during his time at USC.
Bush was ordered by Judge Steven R. Denton to provide his out-of-court testimony for the case in order to determine if Bush needs to repay Lake’s company New Era Sports & Entertainment after he allegedly broke a marketing agreement Bush had with the firm.
If Bush did indeed receive funds from the firm, he would be in violation of NCAA regulations on agreements amateur and collegiate athletes can have with agents and marketing firms prior to their declaration for the NFL draft.
Michael Michaels, who along with Lake co-founded New Era Sports & Entertainment, was also ordered to give a deposition to the court. Michaels brought a similar suit against Bush three years ago and settled for a reported figure of $300,000.
Until this time, lawyers for Bush had attempted to prevent Michaels from giving a deposition on the matter because of the terms of the settlement agreement, but could not convince the court of the matter.
Michaels will be deposed April 21.
Bush and his attorneys had filed a bid for a confidential arbitration on the matter in order to keep records of testimony and depositions out of public record, but lost their appeal.
Because the testimonies are now viewed as public record, the NCAA has requested the depositions of Michaels and Bush be submitted to the committee, which is currently investigating the USC as a whole.
University officials, including athletic department members, met with the NCAA infractions committee at the end of February as part of the NCAA’s investigation of infractions revolving around Bush and former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo.
USC and the NCAA had expected results of the investigation around mid-April, but the committee’s request for copies of the depositions signals that the investigation is ongoing.
The NCAA was unable to get a sworn statement from Michaels until this point because of the confidentiality agreement in his settlement with Bush, but it will now have access to his side of the story.
Bush’s deposition will be the first time he has answered questions under oath regarding Lake and Michaels’ accusations, which first came to light in 2006.
Lake alleges that Bush’s stepfather, LaMarr Griffin, came to him in 2004 with a plan to create a sports marketing agency with Bush as their most visible client. Lake then alleges that between 2004 and 2005, he supplied Griffin, Bush and his mother, Denise Griffin, with cash and gifts upwards of $290,000. Bush’s family also stayed in a Spring Valley, Calif., home owned by Michaels after the family ran into financial trouble. Other alleged gifts included a $13,000 1996 Chevrolet Impala.
After Bush won the Heisman trophy in 2005, his relationship with New Era allegedly fractured. An article in the OC Register stated that sources said, however, that Bush attempted to repair the relationship before he hired agent Joel Segal and Mike Ornstein as his marketing representative.