Sunday, May 11, 2008

OJ MAYO: MO MONEY, MO PROBLEMS

Quotable: "I would just like to know if I did [get money], where did the money go? I was a struggling college student like everyone else. I bicycled to class. The truth will come out, even though the perception is reality." O.J. Mayo


There's something about Mayo.

And these days it's not about where he will fall in the first round when the NBA Draft rolls around on June 26th. Like many student athletes before him, Mayo seems to have fallen into the pitfall of taking gifts,money and or other favors from agents and or their representatives. According to NCAA rules and regulations, student athletes cannot receive any form of gifts, cash or benefits while attending a college or university and in California it’s a misdemeanor for agents to bestow gifts of any sort to a student athlete. It has long been a “hush-hush” standard in college sports recruiting for college athletic programs and agents scouting for that next NBA eligible mega star to woo them into signing with them by making the money, gifts and other perks rain. Agents and other bottom feeders being paid to befriend rising high school and college athletes is as classic to sports as is the All-American football hero from a small town or the basketball phenom from the ghetto turned Franchise megastar.

Recently ex-confidant, Rodney Guillory, a Los Angeles event promoter, came forward alleging that he showered Mayo with $30,000 dollars in cash, various gifts and benefits including a flat screen TV for Mayo's dorm room, cell phone service, clothes, a hotel room and meals with a few similar benefits being bestowed upon one of Mayo's relatives and a few friends during Mayo’s senior year in high school and during his one year tenure at USC. Mayo ofcourse denies receiving any money or benefits from Guillory, stating, "I don't know anything about it. It caught me by surprise. I've got to get to L.A. to see what's going on. I'm just focusing on the draft."

In a statement released on Mother's Day, the NCAA commented,"The allegations of improper benefits received by O.J. Mayo before and during his enrollment at the University of Southern California -- as outlined in ESPN's May 11, 2008, segment of 'Outside the Lines' -- are new to the NCAA. This information was not available when the NCAA examined Mr. Mayo's academic and amateurism status prior to his collegiate enrollment, and we will review the information in conjunction with the institution and the Pac-10 Conference."

Lou Johnson, an associate of Guillory, revealed to ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” that Billy Duffy & Associates, whom Guillory reports gave him a total of $200,000 split up into monthly payments along with a new $50,000 Infiniti SUV, denies knowing Guillory or Johnson, let alone putting Guillory on payroll. Johnson even provided store receipts to the news show as proof. Considering that the receipts are from purchases made with a credit card from a non-existent charity organization called, The National Organization of Sickle Cell Prevention and Awareness Foundation, I’d hardly be flashing those around town to prove my credibility.

"We didn't give O.J. one dime. I was told that O.J. had an exemplary year on campus and was riding his bike to class. We've got 80 clients who we put our heart and soul working for and we're not in a position where we have to buy clients."
Billy Duffy of Billy Duffy & Associates commented.

Sort of gives a new definition to the term “snake in the grass.” You’d be hard pressed to convince me that this isn’t a vendetta in a sweet deal that went south. With Mayo hiring Billy Duffy & Associates’ agent, Andrews and foregoing his sophomore year at USC to enter the NBA Draft, it seems awfully convenient timing that Guillory and Johnson would unload their “guilty” consciences on the media now. While Mayo certainly isn’t a saint, he did his due diligence when he accepted Denver Nuggets’ tickets from Carmelo Anthony last season and donated $460 (the value of the tickets) to charity. He probably did what many other kids do from broken homes whose talents can carry them further than any hustle the streets or even sometimes a job from a college education can often afford them, take the gifts being offered. It’s certainly not illegal nor the first time this has happened.

Is it me or does this story seem redundant like Hilary Clinton’s campaign attempts for presidency? Similar accusations have been thrown at Heisman Trophy winner and breakout Oakland Raiders quarterback, Reggie Bush also an USC alumnus and countless others such as Fresno State’s, Tito Maddox to name a few. Where is the accountability by the educational institutions, the college athletics department and staff? Hell! What about the agents and their representatives who paint the picture of the “Great White Hope” (or in Guillory’s case, “Great Black Hope”) coming down off Mt. Messiah to save a young promising kid from the hood from the hard knock life by supplying them with all the “bling”, cash and perks their hearts desire in exchange for a big payday when they hit the big time?

The jury is out. And if Mayo is founded to be liable, the cost to pay the boss could be vacating of games and records while he attended USC and North College Hill Highschool. The question is did USC know? Honestly, how could they not? Certainly, flashy new clothes and kicks and a flat screen TVs are blood red flags if you’re known for pedaling around campus on a bike! Let the investigations by the NCAA, the Ohio High School Athletic Association and USC begin! As even NBA commissioner David Stern acknowledges more is needed to be done to “protect student athletes,” if not from themselves but from predatory hustlers that prey on their talent.

If anything don’t hate the player, hate the game

Related Articles:
Mayo Demonstrates That NBA Rule Is A Disaster
Mayo Got The Money, But Others Cashed In
NCAA Has “New” Information On Mayo
Mayo Denies Ex-Confidant Claims Of Gifts, Including TV and Cash

5 comments:

Batman said...

Having attended 'SC a lifetime ago, I can tell you it was going on then, as well as now. More out in the open, as everyone seems to believe that if you're a celebrity, you're fair game. I blame the media :) So, to review, I do indeed hate the game, and the solution, is to change the rules....

THOUGHT!!! said...

LEt me first begin by saying...damn...I can't even get Q-Fish to SEE my blog let alone leave a comment...but...that's neither here nor there....


I've been following this story over the last few days and I have an interest as I have come to appreciate O.J.'s talent and I beleive he will be a productive NBA player, his game is predicated on a combination of skill(1st), basketball talent/intellect(2nd) athleticism(3rd), I feel he will be able to give you 15ppg to 20ppg at almost any level. He will need to really work on his quickness, passing, team-running and defensive prowess at the next level if he wants to be a star...


Now, on to the real matter. First let me say that I look at issues like this and I like to attack the problem from the institutional level and also address the systemic flaws. To attack the person lends itse'f to being judgemental of the human being. We can identify infractions, but we never truly know a persons heart, conscience, and circumstances and those are the things necessary to pass judgement. What are the social, political, and general conditions that lend themselves to making people fee they need to break the rules and/or laws...is it just an opportunistic jaunt to the darkside, is it an anarchist or rebels view of authority, or is it the responsibility of providing for ones self and/or family in a very constrained situation. From experience, I know many young black males coming from household where finances are tight, male role models are on short supply, and the opportunity to exploit system where opportunities to do so present themselves as the way to go are the prevalent norm.

I don't know OJ Mayo directly, I have played with him acutally, but I don't know his circumstances so for me to knock him for accepting compensation for what he can do would be foolish. After all, we live in a country with a free market economy, capitalizing on opportunity and exploiting untapped resource is the name of the game...though you may know the rules in theory and have a semantic understanding...the rules may not REALLY be in your situations best interest.


I beleive that the professional basketball system and leagues in this country could model themselves after certain European countries and have sports be tied to a better developmental system that does not include academia or institutions of higher learning. That would alleviate the problem...BUT HALT...STOP...The colleges and High Schools profit HANDSOMELY from these games...colleges themselves can get anywhere from $250,000 to $5,000,000 for participating in games. And you thought this was jsut for school spirit. Tim Floyd, coach of the Men's Varsity NCAA Basketball Team @ USC has a multi-million dollar deal to coach....and he isn't even playing. Isn't there a bit of a double standard if the school can make $$$ into the millions, and the coach can make $$$ into the millions....why should an athlete risk injury and harm to play at a very high level...right under true professional and not be compensated? Just a thought...there is nothing wrong with purely amateur collegitae and high school sports, but let's not pretend it just became a business venture with O.J. Mayo and young black men and women. Boosters have been "contributing" to schools based on team performance since the 1940s. So...if student-athletes, and coach (who is already being paid serious cheese), goes out and has a winnning season we contribute X, if a bowl appearance we contribute Y and if the team wins the Bowl we contribute Z...LOL...if that isn't being paid to play I don't know what is...and we don't have to get to the other perks and non-monitary compensation the universities and in some places the high schools extend. I've been an athlete all my life and played Football and basketball in high school and AAU. Can you sit here and tell me that having your school work done for you, extra money on your mea card, automatic grades, a dedicated study buddy and/or tutor, and the best dorm isn't compensation...your not treated like a regular student...your treated a lil better based on being an athlete...


Now...lets get to the AAU...and High school basketball. I live in the DC area, so I frequent a place called the capital sports complex (formerly the legendary Run N Shoot), I see agents, I see scouts, I see "runners", I see "consultants" all ther during the AAU tournaments 15 yrs old and up. I have friends that have played and play at ALL levels from NCAA D3 up to the NBA...and they will all tell you that they get paid to play and have been paid to play since high school...

so again...why attack the human being so fervently....we don't attack the systemic issues...the institutions with such zest? Changing the conditions that bring about the problems is the answer...the human condition lends itself to people taking the path of least resistance and greatest reward...if the money in collegiate sports is really an issue change the system...stop paying colleges millions for participating in games and winnging, stop the collegiate and high school booster system, stop the media/TV compensation packages to schools and conferences, stop the multi million dollar pay for coaches...attack the root of the problem...and/r disassociate sports form academia.

Qiana M said...

Wow! Great comment and to shed a light on the subject from a student athlete perspective is just the insight needed. I totally agree with you. I've played sports in high school and I've been around athletes my whole life from the college level to the NBA and there certainly is special treatment given to those players and more so if they are stars. You don't get to the root of the problem by starting with a branch. To truly attack the problem you go for the trunk or the heart. Until authorities with the power to do so go for the jugular, then this will continue to be an issue and why even do that if the person who has the most to gain from the situation is the person or persons in power?

FYI If you remind me you even have a blog like I do you, I just might SEE your blog lol

AnthoNorm6 said...

Here is the bottom line..The thing is that we have the media, internet, and other technology out there in the world...Things children (guys or ladies) are getting discovered at a very young age..It puts a lot of pressure on them to do the best that they can just so they can please everybody..Anybody will sit here and say, "Oh, I will do this and this for you if you do this and this for me and stuff like that." We see this all the time but if you have the ability to talk like a lawyer, you can believe anything...The rules have got to change or else the media or some of these agencies, etc. will get sued for their actions...1

A Tru Gentleman said...

This issue that sheds light on how unfair and broken the NCAA is.

Before I get into Mayo's situation let me mention that people need to understand that those accused of wrongdoing are presumably innocent and not presumably guilty. In today's society the moment someone is accused of any violation we jump and conclude that its true without looking at the situation from an objective perspective. I'm not saying that he is innocent, but he deserves the right to not his rep publicly tarnished without hearing all of the facts.

I agree with a lot of what thought!!! stated previously so I won't repeat what he already took the time to type. However, something he mentioned stuck with me. We always attack the individuals that supposedly break rules but we never attack the unjust and immoral system that was set up to take advantage of these athletes. No one wants to analyze the real root of the problem bc its easier to scapegoat the predominately black athletes of today for their wrongdoings than the predominately white creators of a system that continues exploits them for their own benefit. The only reason why I brought race into this is to say that history repeats itself bc we dont get to the root of the problem and attack it at the source. We always just skin the surface and then get mad when the rules are continously violated; but if the rules are unjust and immoral, should one have to abide by them? In the words of St. Augustine’s belief that “an unjust law is no law at all.” - If you are black and haven't seen The Great Debaters, you are missing out on something special. It's in stores now!

Is it fair that a student-athlete has to buss his/her behind year round for no compensation while the coaches/schools/NCAA make tens of millions a year? Is it wrong to get yours while everyone else is financially exploiting you without shame or remorse? I'm just playing devil's advocate. If these coaches, students, and schools can break rules than why shouldn't students do the same. What is the real reason that these coaches, student-athletes, and schools are punished. Is it because they break the rules trying to manipulate the system TOO much, or is it because they every athlete, school, or coach that gets caught brings light to the just how unjust, flawed, and unfair the system REALLY IS!