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Friday Hub Sics the Dogs On 'Em, All of 'Em

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Lawyas: Bush Best Be a Snitch, Bitch. He kept his mouth shut and effectively warded off the NCAA's subpoena-less investigators for the better part of two years since the mega-scandalous illegal benefits story broke big, but the Lloyd Lake/Tarnished Heisman media blitz has quickly turned the tables on Reggie Bush, who can't afford to stay quiet any more:

The attorney for a would-be sports marketer suing Reggie Bush and his family says the Heisman Trophy winner from USC will be compelled next month to provide a sworn deposition answering the civil lawsuit.

A transcript of Bush's statements will then be delivered to the NCAA for review as part of the organization's investigation into Bush's involvement with a failed San Diego sports marketing company, the attorney, Brian Watkins, said Thursday.
Bush has not formally agreed to provide that deposition, Watkins acknowledged.

But "if he doesn't show up, he'll be in trouble, with the judge able to sanction him or to order him to show up with monetary sanctions," said Watkins, whose lawsuit claims Bush owes Lake $291,600.

"I'm going to ask him about everything: His involvement in this company, why he reneged [as a client], why he refuses to pay back the money for his parents' housing, the hotel rooms, the cash, the helicopter ride Lloyd gave his family in San Diego."
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Yeah, I'll talk. What you wanna talk about? My fine girl? My bling? My Hummer? My ability to make all this and more yours? What you wanna talk about?
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Bush can afford the sanctions; hell, he can afford the lawsuit, if a settlement at this stage didn't amount to an admission of guilt that could jeopardize his copy of that one trophy they give out sometimes (you know, that one) and USC's two-and-a-half-year win streak from 2003-05. So it's not certain Bush really can be "compelled" to testify if he's adamant about it, which he has been to date. If he settles, maybe he can recoup some of his losses by going after the merchandising jackals who made made hundreds of thousands off the sale of his college jersey. Oh, that could be any No. 5 playing for USC?...

Terrelle Pryor Watch. Heavy breathing continues unabated over the star quarterback, still presumed to be vascillating between Michigan and Ohio State but also nominally considering Oregon and LSU, and the only news Terrelle Pryor suggested in his recruiting diary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is that it's "doubtful" he'll be playing basketball as planned:

Now that I'm starting to get more realistic about this whole thing, I just think there's no way I could play both football and basketball. Just with school alone, I think there's no way I can do both. Plus, I'm going to want at least a little bit of time to myself.

I'm going to be pounding away at football [in college]. If I want to win a national title, I'm going to have to work out and lift weights in the offseason. Maybe even go over films. Plus, I'll want to chill a little. I don't know if I can do all that and play basketball.
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Hmmm...perhaps those things would be helpful. Moving on to the horse race...
I feel better about Michigan since I went there. I took [Steelers backup quarterback] Charlie Batch with me. He's helping me through this whole process. We got every single detail about what they're going to do with me in their offense. I got a good feel for things and a good look at Coach [Rich] Rodriguez.

Charlie hit him with the questions about how they're going use me. He asked if they were going to make me a quarterback or am I going to be running all the time? They'll probably use me like they used Pat White at West Virginia, but I would be throwing more. They said they'd teach me some techniques, and I'll be throwing that thing a lot. But they'll use my athleticism on some plays, too.

It's nice having Charlie there on visits. He asks a lot of the questions. He'll ask a question and I think, 'Oh, that's a good one.'I'd still say it's five schools -- Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, LSU and Penn State. I've visited Ohio State and Michigan. I can't just take two visits. I have basketball games this weekend, so I might go to Oregon the middle of next week, come back and then go to LSU. I might miss a basketball game or two, but it might be against weaker teams.

I wouldn't leave out Oregon in this thing.

A few Pitt coaches were here [at Jeannette] again this week. They were trying to hit me hard. But they're just doing their jobs.

I'm not going there and I'm not going to visit there, but I'm thinking about maybe just going down there and talking to them. I'll do it just for my Dad because he loves Pitt. So maybe I'll sit and talk with Pitt, just for him.
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Sweet, unlike the sweaty freaks who "flip out" on Pryor's high school office for being uncooperative in helping him talk to the kid or offer thousands of dollars to his dad for the scoop of the recruiting season. Which is not coming:
All of them are just trying to get the scoop. They say, 'You already know where you're going.' I just say, 'All right,' because I don't know.

I really don't know where I'm going. The night of Feb. 5, I'm just going to have to sit down, shut off my cell phone, relax and just think it all over.
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Whoops. Corrections rarely make it into online editions, but the Gainesville Sun was sure it wanted to get this one out there:
In a Thursday recruiting story, The Sun inaccurately reported that All-America wide receiver Julio Jones was sent home early from his University of Florida visit by the coaches and that Jones, who is from Foley, Ala., was recruiting for Oklahoma while he was in Gainesville.

Sources confirmed Thursday that Jones, in fact, stayed for his entire visit and had not done any recruiting for another school. The Sun regrets the errors.
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So plans for burning the kid in effigy can be scrapped, Gator fans. Disappointing, I know.

Equally disappointing for Gator haters is the about face in Thursday's Miami Herald by Maranda Smith, the gymnast girlfriend of UF recruit Carl Moore whose comments suggesting Urban Meyer aggressively recruited her for the gymnastics team in order to secure a commitment from Moore, a procedural violation somewhere between "nothing" and "secondary."

''[Meyer] never called me personally,'' Smith said. 'Carl sometimes didn't have his phone or his phone would get cut off. So, he had given Coach Meyer my number and [Moore told Meyer], `If you call my number and I don't answer or it goes to voice mail, call Maranda because I'll be with her more than likely,' and that's how he got a hold of Carl.
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Along the same lines, the Sun's Robbie Andreu hit back at LSU commit Patrick Johnson for blaming the NCAA Clearinghouse's sudden interest in his rapidly rising ACT score on a tip from spurned Florida in a post titled, subtly, "Don't Be a Punk":
To borrow an expression from the former head ball coach, Patrick Johnson needs to check his facts before he starts accusing somebody of something.

The Pompano Beach All-America cornerback has been spewing stuff to the recruiting services the past week about his red-flagged test score and the role UF played in it. He called Florida officials "cowards" for tipping off the Clearing House about his recent dramatic increase on his ACT exam (reportedly from 16 to 22) after Johnson spurned Florida for LSU.

An early enrollee, Johnson is no longer in class (at LSU) and is in limbo while the Clearing House does its thing. (Most likely, Johnson will have to re-take the ACT, which he claims he's fine with.)

Here's the fact: UF had nothing to do with the Clearing House firing up the red flag on Johnson's questionable test score. This is something the Clearing House did (and always does) on its own. When an athlete's score suddenly increases by several points, the red flag goes up. The Clearing House doesn't need to be "tipped off" about someone's test score. And trust me, UF had nothing to do with the process Johnson is going through right now.
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Teflon Urb leaves' em fuming.
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Sanctions were already wishful thinking in either case; swift, effective rebuttal in both means they'll dissipate into the ether, i.e. opponents' message boards and anti-Meyer crusades, where they will be cherished and passed through the generations.

Re: Julio Jones, The Birmingham News is only certain of one thing about the destination of the nation's most sought-after receiver: Nobody knows a damn thing. Maybe not even Julio.

Return to the glory years! Ohhh ohhh ohh ohhhhhhhhh... On the heels of its embarrassing academic fraud suspenson extravaganza in the Music City Bowl, Florida State is turning to an old swim coach cum compliance director to heal the wounds as director of FSU's academic support program. Bill Shults, FSU swim coach from 1979-92 and compliance director from 1993-98 ( returns to Tallahassee after a brief stay at Florida International - "brief" as in "a little over a month." The Panthers hired Shults in December to right FIU's own foundering academic  ship, which included a staggering, national-high nine scholarship suspensions in football alone for its abysmal "Academic Progress Rate." So Shults isn't afraid of a challenge.

Speaking of APR scholarship suspensions, The Wiz points us to San Diego, where SDSU faces not one but two hits for failing to hit NCAA-mandated progress:

Two years ago the NCAA docked SDSU football four scholarships because of a poor APR. Last year the NCAA penalized SDSU three more scholarships but granted the Aztecs a waiver on the condition they reach a 925 APR for 2006-07.

Because the Aztecs are going to miss that mark, according to NCAA documents, they've faced a potential double hit this year - last year's waived penalty plus new ones.
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The underperforming Aztecs - zero winning seasons since 1998, the longest sustained losing streak in the Mountain West from by far its most recruit-friendly metro locale - stand to lose 2-6 scholarships.

The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Indicted, Texas A&M's Yemi Babalola and Brandon Joiner, who were charged with two counts of aggravated robbery the week after A&M's upset win over Texas for allegedly punching out an apartment dweller as he/she opened his door, binding both people inside with tape, waving a gun at them and escaping with "several small items." If you're going to jump into the aggravated robbery pool, men, you might as well hit the deep end: it's a first-degree felony bringing 5 to 99 years and (and, not "or") a fine of up to $10,000 either way. Just more evidence of Dennis Franchione's culture of mediocrity, I guess; when Mike Sherman comes in, there's a safe in the gameplan or you don't knock on the door in the first place.

Both have been suspended indefinitely from the Aggies since the arrest.

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As always, if you have a tip for the Hub, don't be shy: e-mail at sundaymorningqb-at-yah00, etc.