Settlement appears likely in lawsuit vs. Reggie Bush
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO — Reggie Bush apparently has reached an out-of-court settlement with a fledgling sports marketer who is trying to recoup nearly $300,000 in cash and gifts the star running back and his family allegedly accepted while he was playing at the University of Southern California.
Depositions involving the two former marketers who wooed Bush while he was at USC have been called off, attorney Brian Watkins told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Asked if Bush was still scheduled to be deposed on Friday, Watkins said: "I have no comment."
Settlement documents could be filed in court within days.
A settlement could stymie the NCAA and Pacific-10 Conference investigators, who are trying to determine whether Bush and his parents took improper benefits. Bush has not met with NCAA and Pac-10 investigators, and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
If Bush is found retroactively ineligible, he could lose his 2005 Heisman Trophy.
If the NCAA determines that USC violated rules, the football program could have to forfeit victories from those seasons — when the Trojans won a national championship and lost in the BCS title game against Texas — and face additional penalties.
Watkins represents Lloyd Lake in his lawsuit against Bush.
Lake's scheduled deposition Monday did not occur, said Watkins, who declined to provide a reason.
Lake's former partner, Michael Michaels, was scheduled to be deposed Wednesday.
"It will not go through," Watkins said.
A call to Bush's attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, was not immediately returned.
Lake and Michaels were trying to attract Bush as a client for their marketing firm, New Era. Bush did not sign with New Era.
Michaels owned a San Diego-area house where Bush's parents allegedly lived rent-free. Michaels reached an out-of-court settlement with Bush's family in April 2007 that included a confidentiality agreement.
In late December, Bush lost his bid to go to confidential arbitration to settle Lake's lawsuit.
Referring to Michaels' settlement with Bush, Watkins told the AP last week: "Basically Reggie Bush bought his silence for $300,000, so he was unable to speak to the media, and, of course, cooperate with the NCAA."
Watkins tried to take Bush's deposition in February 2008, but said the running back didn't show up.
A few weeks earlier, Watkins and Lake walked out of a deposition, saying that a bodyguard for Bush's attorney at the time, David Cornwell, opened his jacket to expose a pistol.
Yahoo! Sports first reported news of a settlement in the Lake case.