This whole O.J. Mayo affair is probably not surprising to anybody who has a healthy does of skepticism about heavily recruited college basketball players' long-term goals and their abilities to make sound life decisions. As soon as Mayo signed onto USC, it was pretty clear that this kid decided Southern California would be a better spot not to work on his game or his education, but to begin marketing O.J. Mayo: The Brand.
It's becoming even more apparent that the kid was manipulated, but how complicit he was in the whole ordeal remains to be seen. Unless, you count this little nugget from ESPN's follow-up coverage of their "Outside The Lines" report:
Mayo, who talked to ESPN.com using the same cell phone number that Guillory had provided for him (according to T-Mobile phone records and independent verification by "Outside The Lines"), said he didn't speak with anyone from USC on Sunday and reiterated that he had no knowledge of money going from BDA to him. Attempts by ESPN.com to reach USC were unsuccessful Sunday.
That's right: He called ESPN from one of the illicit phones.
Yeah, maybe O.J. Mayo would benefit from a couple more years of college. Or junior high school, really. Also, it's probably time USC imposed a school-wide "No O.J.'s" rule for for their athletic programs.
By the way, Pro Football Talk points out that Gregg Doyel has been all over this for a while.
Mayo denies ex-confidant's claims of gifts, including tv, cash [ESPN.com]
O.J. Mayo , Agents, and basketball [True Hoop]