Blog Entry

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:53 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Lonnie White, a former USC wide receiver and kick returner, wrote at TheDaily.com on Thursday that he frequently received large sums of money while he was playing for the Trojans in the mid-'80s. White, whose name is probably more familiar to California residents as a longtime Los Angeles Times writer (a skill on display in his article here), said he received a total $14,000 in illegal payments. He detailed one $5,000 transaction, saying he waited in "an empty lot ... sitting alone in a parked car late at night" and that he was given a "small brown bag filled with money."

That part in and of itself is a bit troubling, but not entirely surprising; the big thing there is that there's someone willing to put their name to it (and under no pressure to do so) instead of it being the stuff of rumor or allegation. No, the real key to White's story is that according to him, this type of behavior was commonplace across generations -- and he has his family to back him up. White's father Elwood told him such bending of the rules was prevalent at Morgan State as far back as the late '40s, and White's older brother Tim also played for USC's football team and introduced him to their "money man" in Lonnie's first year on campus:

We would use the meeting as a joyous occasion, but for most of my freshman year, I didn’t exactly know how the process worked. This was before cell phones, and my brother kept me in the dark when it came to details. I just remember taking a variety of items, from signed footballs to player-issued season tickets, to our benefits source in exchange for money, usually cash.

Even though I knew what I was doing was wrong, it seemed like everyone I knew who played college football enjoyed some type of extra benefits as a player.

Fortunately for USC, this story isn't going to lead to NCAA investigators hounding the White family and the USC athletic department for details. The statute of limitations for NCAA violations (absent a continuing pattern of repeat violations) is four years, so unless the NCAA finds a pattern of misbehavior going back 25 years, this is irrelevant to their current casework -- and let's be honest, if the NCAA finds that type of historical rule-breaking with USC, that program is getting nuked regardless of what White says.

Also, the Trojan athletic department and coaches, which White doesn't implicate, would catch the most heat in situations like these. Here's what White had to say about why the coaching staff doesn't merit criticism in this instance:

It must be noted that all this went on without the coaches’ knowledge. That seems hard to believe. It is true, though. At major programs, the pressure to win and the time commitment the coaches put forth toward the program itself leaves major opportunities for players to interact with people who have a different agenda.

That's a valid and underreported point. When North Carolina head coach Butch Davis tells NCAA investigators that he had no idea John Blake was a prolific runner for Gary Wichard while coaching for the Tar Heels at the same time, he probably meant it ... and the NCAA (no shrinking violet when it comes to sanctions, as USC can attest) clearly believed him, opting not to hit UNC with the dreaded Lack Of Institutional Control in its notice of allegations earlier this week.

At the same time, though, Davis did get a Failure To Monitor charge, which is still pretty bad, and ignorance is hardly a valid defense for coaches. White closes out his piece by noting that he knows at least five BCS-level players from last season who believe that the impermissible benefit problem is much larger than is being reported. That's probably because the coaches, by and large, still don't know when it's going on.

The worst part is, this will go on forever. It's an inevitable result of trying to instill and enforce a code of strict amateurism in a capitalist society. You can't get people to stop wanting money, and the stricter the consequences are, the greater lengths the athletes will go to to conceal the activity. Hence Lonnie White, sitting in an empty lot late at night, trading season tickets for a bag of money. Basic capitalism turned into an act of shame. That's obviously not the NCAA's stated goal, but it's the clear end result.

Doesn't seem right, does it?


Comments

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: June 26, 2011 3:49 am
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

White, whose name is probably more familiar to California residents as a longtime Los Angeles Times writer (a skill on display in his article here),

It appears that White is a much better writer than Jacobi. When will cbs stop hiring interns for the summer? This article is embarassing.

You know a writer isn't competent when his article is mostly cut and paste....and he does not cite any sources used. Shame on you, Jacobi. Shame on you!



Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

Fans need to stop being so ignorant. Steroid use is still and has been rampant in baseball for decades.

College athletes get paid like this and receive other illegal benefits for just about every team since forever ago. Teams like Ohio State and Notre Dame make headlines when they are exposed because they have the idiocy (or their fans do) to trumpet their integrity and higher ideals, which anyone with half a brain knows is nonsense. 

Props to White for saying this, but it really shouldn't be that Earth-shattering.

Who are you preaching to?  We all know that cheating occurs.  You talk about steroids and baseball, but they have been in football even longer, and much more widespread.  We all know athletes cheat.  Duh. 

But why do you make sound like its okay?  Is this the old two wrongs make a right argument again?



Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

SC has been paying players since the 60s.

why else would anyone agree to live in south centra LA for 3-4 years.

reggie bush was one of many getting illegal benefits.   he was just the only one to actually be so stupid and get caught.

what about Dr Ting of Barry Bonds fame, who two kids went to SC a few years back.

money and steroids - it is the SC way

It figures this azzhole would pop up, he always does. Hey dirtbag, you're from greater watts and you still live there, so quit being a lying  hypocrite. You're just pissed because SC wouldn't let you be one of their janitors given your propensity to steal and smoke crack.



Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

Fans need to stop being so ignorant. Steroid use is still and has been rampant in baseball for decades.

College athletes get paid like this and receive other illegal benefits for just about every team since forever ago. Teams like Ohio State and Notre Dame make headlines when they are exposed because they have the idiocy (or their fans do) to trumpet their integrity and higher ideals, which anyone with half a brain knows is nonsense. 

Props to White for saying this, but it really shouldn't be that Earth-shattering. 



Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

Yeah right, Lonnie, 5 grand? And you had to sit in a empty lot, ALONE. There wasn't money in that brown paper bag, Lonnie, but
whatever was in there must've helped you to come up with this wild story 25 years later.  



Since: Sep 22, 2010
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

Can you read?  The money trail ends at the Holy Zion church in Newnan, Georgia.  This is not speculation, this is evidence!



Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:01 pm
 

Let's get over this

This problem can't be stopped, paying college players isn't going to stop anything....the best will just demand more.  You can hold audits of players, but those can be wheeled around.  Short of putting non-stop surveillance on players (which would be highly unethical) how do you stop a paper trail from a rich booster?

All we can do is punish those who get caught to serve a lesson for others.  That's what's happening now.  It's too bad that some people have to be poster-childs for corruption though.

But the whole thing about ripping certain schools about being unethical is pointless.  Everybody is doing this, let's not throw stones when we live in glass houses...it's pretty clear no programs are completely clean.



Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

If there was a money trail, then there would be more to the story Justafart... Just because you are bitter that Cam won the Heisman and a National championship, doesn't make him guilty.... The only evidence they have of a money request is at MSU.... Until there is something otherthan speculation the story is Dead....

As for Bush, if he was smart enough to pay the man back that gave him the money(when he signed with another agent), he would still have his Heisman and USC would still have their National Championship....




Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

louts8wings, kinda funny how you can even say anything with that ohio state banner flying.  You're one to talk about breaking rules and still getting to play.  I'm pretty sure you had a bunch of players in the Sugar Bowl this year that shouldn't have been!!!!!



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: June 24, 2011 11:57 am
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

30 years ago is a bit much.  Lets focus on the here and now.  Cam Newton got 180K to win a national championship for Aurburn just this last year.  Write a freaking story about that.  And for you war eagle homers (Bill King) who want proof:  Cecil Newton's almost condemned & falling down church was mysteriously renovated without a single receipt.  Cecil admitted he sought the money.  Others confirmed.  Cam admitted the money was too good and therefore he couldn't attend the school he chose.  This is more evidence than what there was on the Bush family at the time.  WRITE THIS STORY.  It is BIGGER than any other.  Trust me, it only gets better. 

Did you miss all the stories about it last October/November?

The NCAA is still investigating.  If any new info comes out, I'm sure it will blanket the news.

And no, it is not more evidence than there was on the Bush family.  To my knowledge, no one has come out and said they gave the Newton's hundreds of thousands of dollars like the agent did with Bush.


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