REPORT: Harvin unnamed recruit in USC report

By Adam Silverstein
June 25, 2010

As part of the NCAA’s report on infractions surrounding the USC Trojans that led to a two-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships and a forfeiture of wins for the program, former USC now New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush was barred from communicating with the program or assisting it financially.

One of the main reasons the Trojans received such heavy sanctions, Bush has been accused of taking $300,000 in improper benefits from sports marketing agent Lloyd Lake, something that the team’s assistant football coach at the time, Todd McNair, allegedly knew but did nothing about.

In the NCAA’s report, one of the most notable contacts between the two parties occurred when Bush was set to host the nation’s top high school recruit following the Oct. 29, 2005, game between USC and Washington State.

McNair, who attempted to contact Bush throughout the night after he abandoned said recruit in his hotel room rather than taking him out, also called Lake’s phone to find out where Bush was and why he skipped out on the meeting.

Though he was not named in NCAA documents, former Florida Gators now Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has been identified as that very recruit, according to two independent sources who confirmed this to SPORTSbyBROOKS.

In the past 24 hours, a L.A. media source and NCAA source have independently confirmed to me that Percy Harvin was that recruit.

Harvin that year was the top high school football prospect in the country and McNair had been assigned by coach Pete Carroll as his primary recruiter for the Trojans.

Because McNair was charged with recruiting Harvin – and found out through Harvin that Bush was not with him but rather with a sports marketing agent – his knowledge of Bush’s association with Lake is proven, and his lie to the NCAA about not having such information was exposed.

It should be noted that Harvin did nothing wrong in this scenario as presented; he was simply a recruit on a visit waiting to be taken out by the team’s top player. However, it is a very interesting wrinkle considering: (a) how his being neglected ended up aiding the NCAA investigation and (b) he did not join the Trojans and ended up committing to the Gators less than two months later.

10 Comments

  1. O-town Gator says:

    Just who the hell are these so-called “sources”, anyway?

    You’re right, Adam – Percy did nothing wrong, if I too am reading this correctly – nor did UF in accepting him as a commitment.

    As far as I’m concerned, USC has nobody to blame but themselves for the mess they’re in right now. They let it happen, so now they must reap what they sow. I don’t feel one bit sorry for them, OR Lame Kitten for that matter.

  2. BosGator says:

    Yep, interesting because now USC fans can be mad at Bush for one more thing: Losing Percy Harvin as a recruit!

  3. Brooks did a really good job reporting this story. Click on the link I provided if you want to read every detail.

  4. alex4r says:

    Brooks needs to change the title. It is very misleading and lets face it, the majority of people are stupid and they will just read the title and run with it with out reading the entire article.

  5. Completely agree alex4r…however…that is the point of them posting that title in the first place…to draw people in and have them read the entire article.

  6. O-town Gator says:

    Bos, USC’s loss was UF’s gain, and it was a gain in a big way. As far as USC goes, they’re in deep doo-doo and they just better accept the fact that the NCAA finally caught up with them, as they do with any school that breaks the rules sooner or later. They finally caught Florida State doing something that wasn’t kosher, but I only wish they could have completely sorted through all their dirty laundry and found more nasty stuff.

    Lame Kitten better bite the bullet and realize that he walked into a mess – and he also better remember that he was part of the USC staff when all this crap was taking place. His having hired McNair to be a part of his staff shows that he has an obvious lack of scruples.

  7. goldeneaglejav says:

    couldnt have happened to a better bunch of a-holes honestly (usc). hope they dont win a game this year.

  8. npgator says:

    I think I remember that story about Bush abandoning Harvin on a recruiting visit or something along those lines. Either way I recall reading updates on that situation on Gator Country.

  9. John Shanks says:

    I have Bush to thank for the fall of the Troy and our landing of Percy? I think I’ll send him a Christmas card.

  10. Escambia94 says:

    I just wish something definitive would come out so we can call the case closed. I want USC to just disappear from the headlines.

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