White Goes on Defense for Ex-Teammate Bush

Times Staff Writer

LenDale White had a decent showing Sunday in his debut as an NFL running back, but his most memorable and vigorous performance came on defense.

Defending the reputation of former USC teammate Reggie Bush in the locker room, that is.

“I don’t follow it because I don’t believe none of it,” White said of a report that Bush and his family accepted benefits of more than $100,000 from agents while the tailback was playing college football.

“Honestly, I don’t know nothing about what they’re talking about. I went to school with the man for three years. If he had money like that, I need to borrow some.”


Bush, now a New Orleans Saints rookie, has denied any wrongdoing.

USC Coach Pete Carroll said Sunday that Bush called him after the Trojans’ victory over Nebraska on Saturday night and reiterated that he had done nothing wrong.

“He was very firm about all of that,” Carroll said. “He just wanted to make sure and check in.... He wanted to make sure I was clear.”

“I believe Reggie,” White said. I believe nothing ever happened, ever. And it will be proven at the end of the day.”

Eavesdropping Sunday as White spoke to a small group of reporters in the Tennessee locker room was teammate Bobby Wade. He interrupted several times, telling White: “Talk about the game, man! You [don’t] need to respond to that! Don’t even entertain it!”

White shook his head in agreement, then continued.

“You’re right,” he said. “But Reggie didn’t do nothing. I’m with Reggie, that’s my teammate. I believe in him.”

As for the Titans believing in White, that remains to be seen. He was deactivated for the opener against the New York Jets and played for the first time Sunday because tailback Travis Henry has turf toe. White had eight carries for 22 yards, the longest for six yards.

“It felt good to get out the cobwebs I had as far as not being in a real NFL game,” said White, a second-round pick.

“I don’t count the preseason because that’s when teams are trying to get their stuff together, see who they want to be out there, who they’re going to cut and all that,” White said.

“Now it’s different because I finally got in the game. They put me in there to make a difference,” he said. “Now we’ve just got to build from this week and move on.”