Recipients Say NFL Star Bush Fumbled Scholarship Promise
Last Updated: 1198 days ago
San Diego native Reggie Bush is one of many NFL stars playing in this year's Super Bowl, but the New Orleans Saints running back is at the center of a college scholarship issue with his name attached.Bush graduated from Helix High School in 2003 and had a Heisman Trophy-winning career at the University of Southern California. After college, he was drafted by the Saints in 2006 and signed a $26 million guaranteed contract.However, two local families are wondering what happened with the money that was supposed to go to a scholarship Bush lent his name to.In March 2007, Helix High School seniors Brandon Fountain and Matt Cobb were presented a $10,000 scholarship from Bush to use for college."I think it's always been in my heart, just a desire to be able to come back and give back to the high school I grew up in," Bush said in 2007.Fountain said, "I was real excited to meet Reggie Bush."Fountain attends Cuyamaca College, and Cobb entered San Diego State University. Each received a $2,500 installment on their scholarships in their freshman year. Both ran into problems the following year when trying to contact the scholarship's trustee, Jerry Michaels."Mr. Michaels never responded. A couple of weeks later, he (Brandon) sent a second e-mail and still no response," said Fountain's father, Bruce.It was the same story for Cobb, and after weeks of wondering they received an answer they were not expecting."That's when we were told he was out of funds and due to the economy he didn't have the money," said Cobb.10News contacted Michaels, who lives in Los Angeles. He said the scholarship program was set up years ago and Bush's people contacted him in an effort to get involved. Michaels said Bush's people promised to contribute to the funds but never followed through. The existing scholarship was funded by previous investments in the stock market, and those stocks did not do well.While Bush posed with them at Helix High and was credited for "giving back" to his former school, Fountain and Cobb were left with an empty promise and a scholarship with Bush's name and without his assistance.10News' Steve Atkinson asked, "So the only person who gets hurt in this is?""The kids," said Bruce Fountain.10News contacted the San Diego Foundation, which as funded more than $15 million in scholarships for local students, to find out if the Bush scholarship is common practice. They said they only receive direct funds from donors, which is never a risky investment."We work with our donors to make sure the money they are promising students is in the bank before we ever begin talking about awarding a scholarship," said Arzo Mansury of the San Diego Foundation.10News tried numerous times to contact Bush's representatives regarding this story, but phone calls have not been returned.In addition to Bush's NFL salary, he earns nearly $5 million a year in endorsements.