Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune tracked down the whereabouts of key figures in the case that had its beginning five years ago. For some, life has gotten much better, including Bush's parents — LaMar and Denise Griffin.
They are living in a new house in Chula Vista, Calif., about 11 miles from the home in Spring Valley that served as the starting point in the NCAA investigation that led to USC's penalties.
Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, has no worries. He signed a six-year contract with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 that guaranteed about $26 million.
Others have not fared as well. Former sports marketing investor Michael Michaels, who was the Bush's landlord when they lived in Spring Valley, has faced federal and state tax trouble. Today he works at Sycuan Casino.
David Caravantes, the San Diego-based agent who became involved in the mess in part through Michaels, was fined $10,000 by the NFL players union. He didn't pay and was taken off the union's list of approved agents. Caravantes is now listed as an executive at a clean energy company.
Lloyd Lake, Michaels' former partner in New Era, the failed sports marketing venture, has been working on a prospective reality show with comedian Faizon Love. He has also been approached about a possible movie based on the book about the Bush scandal, "Tarnished Heisman."
The biggest loser is USC, which faces a hefty scholarship reduction over each of the next three years and can't play in a bowl until at least December 2012, pending an appeal. Many of the current members of the team were in middle school when the violations occurred, and they will share in paying the penalty.
Bush's mother, Denise Griffin, still works as a sheriff's deputy in the San Diego courts. LaMar Griffin, Bush's stepfather who previously worked as a security guard at Morse High, is still encountering financial problems. On June 17, a $2,993 judgment was entered against him in court for unpaid rent at an apartment he leased last year in El Cajon.
Fans are still having a tough time dealing with the NCAA's case against the Trojans. The Rivals site USC Football has published a reported that suggests the NCAA had little if any indisputable proof that running backs coach Todd McNair had direct knowledge of Bush receiving improper benefits while at the school. Sports By Brooks breaks down the report.
Thanks to Mike.