SAN DIEGO (AP) — Reggie Bush is scheduled to give a long-sought deposition next week in a lawsuit by 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.
The deposition is scheduled for April 23 in the office of attorney Brian Watkins. Watkins represents Lloyd Lake in his lawsuit against Bush, the former Heisman Trophy winner who now plays for the New Orleans Saints.
Lake's former partner, Michael Michaels, is scheduled for a deposition next Wednesday, Watkins said. Michaels reached an out-of-court settlement with Bush's family in April 2007.
"It's been three years in the making so it's going to be very interesting to see whether or not Michael Michaels' and Reggie Bush's stories will contradict each other," Watkins said.
Watkins said Michaels' settlement with Bush included a confidentiality agreement.
"Now he has to talk because he's being deposed," Watkins said.
"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 said. "Reggie Bush always has maintained he didn't do anything wrong, so it will be very interesting to see if Michael Michaels' testimony corroborates that of Reggie Bush or contradicts it."
Lake and Michaels were trying to attract Bush as a client for their marketing firm, New Era. Bush did not sign with New Era.
The NCAA and Pac-10 are investigating whether Bush and his parents took improper benefits. Bush has not met with NCAA and Pac-10 investigators, and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Michaels owned a San Diego-area house where Bush's parents allegedly lived rent-free.
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.
In late December, Bush lost his bid to go to confidential arbitration to settle Lake's lawsuit.
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 opened his jacket to expose a pistol.