We knew when reading the USA Today article in which USC A.D. Pat Haden said that Saints running back Reggie Bush apologized for the problems he caused for the school’s football program that somehow, some way, someone would claim that a misquote had occurred.
For now, it appears that Haden merely disagrees with the characterization of his explanation as an apology from Bush. “Never
did he say I’m sorry or I apologize,” Haden said, per the Los Angeles Times (via CFT). “Never did he
say, ‘I lied to the NCAA or I took stuff.’
Sheesh. Now we know what Haden has done with all the hairs he has lost over the years; he has been practicing splitting them.
Apology, contrition, regret, whatever. Bush feels bad — as he should — because he got paid by multiple would-be marketing agents, he stiffed one of them when he hired the other, and then he squandered multiple opportunities to make it right with the would-be marketing agents whom he essentially robbed. (And if you think that’s too strong, why did Reggie settle the lawsuits filed by Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake?)
Meanwhile, Haden has made no effort to clarify or correct any of his specific quotes, including the one in which Bush said he’d give back the Heisman, if he could. Instead, it appears that Haden merely has pointed out his disagreement with the notion that Bush apologized, a word Haden apparently never used when talking to USA Today.
Even if Haden’s point is accurate that Bush never used the words “sorry” or “apology” or “my bad” or “did I do that?”, the overriding message of the story hasn’t changed. And Haden has succeeded in giving legs to a story that does nothing to help USC or Bush.
Given that USC has been ordered to shun Bush, it probably makes sense for Haden to say less, not more, about the conversation. And Haden seems to realize that.
“When we say we have to disassociate ourselves, I didn’t know if I could
talk to him or even listen to him,” Haden said. “It was basically just a
conversation about him feeling bad about what he put the university
It’s a good thing Haden was a Rhodes Scholar. Otherwise, he could do or say something really stupid in situations like this.