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University of Southern California guard O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo Scandal Is Latest for USC

May 13, 2008 07:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Denis Cummings
The revelation that USC basketball star O.J. Mayo received cash and gifts indirectly from a sports agent joins the list of the school’s recent infractions.

30-Second Summary

According to an investigation by ESPN's Outside the Lines, over the past four years event promoter Rodney Guillory has given Mayo over $30,000 in cash, clothing and other gifts. Guillory has received payments from sports agency Bill Duffy Associates, the same agency Mayo signed with when he turned pro last month.

Mayo met Guillory in 2003, when he was a 15-year old basketball phenom. Guillory became Mayo’s mentor and helped guide his basketball career.

A Huntington, W.V. native, Mayo bounced around high schools in Kentucky, Ohio and Huntington and was suspended several times for misconduct on and off the court.

He was nonetheless one of the most coveted college recruits in the country and received many offers; USC, however, did not try to recruit Mayo.

In the summer of 2006, the summer before his senior year at Huntington High School, Mayo committed to USC out of the blue. He claimed that he wanted to play in Los Angeles to market his image, but he also wanted to be closer to Guillory, who lives less than 10 miles from campus.

The latest revelations surprise few. Many college basketball observers suspected that there was something shady about his recruitment. Mayo was a  “player everyone in Hoopsworld strongly suspected was no amateur before he set foot in Los Angeles,” writes ESPN’s Pat Forde.

The USC athletic department is familiar with scandal and criticism. The Mayo scandal reminds many of NFL player and former Trojan Reggie Bush, who accepted money from aspiring sports agents in 2004–06.

The football team has received no penalties from the NCAA. The basketball team, however, may be facing stiff penalties in the wake of the Mayo scandal, a low APR score and the suspicious recruitment of rapper Romeo.

Headline Link: ‘Mayo received money, perks from agent reps’

Key Player: O.J. Mayo

Background: USC’s dysfunctional athletic department

Opinion & Analysis: Give USC the death penalty


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