Saints News: 5.03.08

The well documented case involving Reggie Bush accepting money and gifts while in college is coming to a head. The LA Times has the article.  Sports marketing agent Lloyd Lake claims he gave Reggie $300,000 in cash and gifts while playing at USC, and was never paid back. Reggie denies receiving any money. USC coach Pete Carroll could be called in to be a witness.

Lake's attorney, Brian Watkins, said Carroll and running backs coach Todd McNair could play a role in his trial strategy.

"Both Pete Carroll and Todd McNair are most likely going to be witnesses," Watkins said by telephone after a morning court hearing. "I can't talk about what we're going to be asking them."

Carroll was linked to the case after Lake alleged that he overheard a telephone conversation between the coach and Bush's stepfather. Carroll could not be reached Friday.

All the speculation and squabbling that has gone on between the two sides up to this point will end though.

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Joan M. Lewis set a trial date for March 13, 2009, and warned both sides that she was losing patience.

What are the consequences of this decision?

If the NCAA finds that Bush accepted improper benefits and that USC knew or should have known, the Trojans could face sanctions including the forfeiture of victories from their 2004 national championship season and the 2005 season in which they played in the title game.

Fox Sports has deemed themselves experts of everything and told us what every teams needs between now and pre-season. Check out the whole thing here. This is what they have to say for the Saints.

New Orleans

Pressing need: Seeing whether Deuce McAllister can make a successful comeback from two knee surgeries. McAllister agreed to restructure his contract for a chance to remain on the Saints roster. New Orleans fielded the NFL's 28th-ranked rushing offense in 2007 when McAllister wasn't there to provide a strong between-the-tackles rushing threat.

Possible solution: Without a healthy McAllister, the Saints will be forced to continue using a committee approach led by Reggie Bush. Aaron Stecker was re-signed, while Pierre Thomas ended his rookie preseason strong with a 105-yard outing against Chicago. The Saints didn't draft a running back and released 2007 fourth-round pick Antonio Pittman during his rookie preseason.

Ah, ahem. Excuse me, don't forget Pierre's 121 yards in the air. Deuce ain't dead yet, and he could make an awesome recovery and blow everyone's minds. But just in case he doesn't, yes, I think Pierre is the guy. Stecker was pretty impressive at the end too.

Good news for Saints fans says Sports Illustrated who, in this article , says that the Saints finally break the 5 year trend in the NFC South of last place teams finishing first the following year. Thats what I'm talking about!

NFC South: New Orleans (Going up) -- Oh, that wacky NFC South, where the last-place team from the season before has gone on to become the new division champion for four years in a row -- with all four of the division's teams executing the move once each. That streak ends in '08, because the fourth-place Falcons aren't rebounding that far, and the Saints are on their way back. New Orleans didn't deal with the raised bar of expectations last season, burying itself with that 0-4 start. But it was lesson learned. Defensively the Saints have addressed several weak links, adding linebackers Jonathan Vilma and Dan Morgan, defensive end Bobby McCray, cornerback Randall Gay and defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, their first-round pick.

ESPN Page 2 released this piece yesterday. It is a team by team review of the draft mixed in with completely random thoughts. This one was a little hard to read.

But then we take everything about the draft seriously, though year in and year out, the empirical record shows the draft is glorified guesswork. Below, my team-by-team comments. Note to ESPN management: I know what I'm doing.

Ummm....yeah. Team-by-team comments? I guess you meant every team except New Orleans, Green Bay and St. Louis. Unless I missed something.

In really surprising news, there was a shooting at Colts WR Marvin Harrison's Philadelphia bar, while he was there, following an argument. ESPN has the article. Following the shooting, the victim who was shot in the hand, did not identify the shooter. This alleged source explains where the investigation stands.

On Wednesday, according to the source, ballistic tests showed that the gun that had fired the shots was a custom-made Belgian weapon, and police determined that Harrison owned such a gun. A source told ESPN.com's John Clayton that the gun is registered.

Police then went to a Philadelphia car wash owned by Harrison to question him about the gun. Harrison admitted owning such a weapon, but claimed it never left his suburban Philadelphia home.

However, the source said the gun was discovered in a bucket at the car wash, and tests showed that it had fired seven bullets that matched those found at the scene.

I imagine very shortly we will learn more about the situation. I will wait until then before I make any assumptions.Click here to see the NFL's gun policy.

For those of you who love the Saintsations, the final team has been selected in Sesame Street style.

Congratulations, the following have been selected as team members for the 2008-09 New Orleans Saintsations!

1, 7, 8, 9,  10 , 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19,21, 22, 29, 31,37,39,41,42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 59, 66

I heard number 11 is hot!!

This post was brought you by the numbers 26, 9, 12, 25, 94 and 91.

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