They had somebody from O.J. Mayo's inner circle on TV talking openly.
Right then, I knew it would be good.
|Gary Parrish: Tim Floyd must've known what he was getting into when he offered a scholarship to O.J. Mayo. (Getty Images)|
Just a brilliant and thorough job of reporting by Outside the Line's Kelly Naqi, who sat across from former Mayo associate Louis Johnson and asked the specific questions that provided the detailed answers to how Mayo allegedly benefited from a relationship with Rodney Guillory. That the relationship was shady came as no shock. Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com wrote about it more than a year ago and I addressed the situation again in December after a -- how to put this politely? -- somewhat naive New York Times story suggested Mayo chose Southern California "because he wanted to help create a legacy, to be a pioneer."
My response to that story?
Yep, that O.J. Mayo. He's a modern-day Daniel Boone.
The real reason Mayo is at USC is a man named Rodney Guillory, an L.A-based event promoter whom the NCAA once deemed a "runner" for an agent. Guillory is a mentor to Mayo, and he guided Mayo to USC by walking into Tim Floyd's office one day and asking Floyd if he'd like to coach the budding superstar. And yes, it was that easy. Guillory, who formed a bond with Mayo in recent years, lived in L.A., so Mayo was going to attend college in L.A., plain and simple. If Guillory lived in Chicago, Mayo would be playing at DePaul. If Guillory lived in Milwaukee, Mayo would be playing at Marquette. But because Guillory lives in Los Angeles, Mayo is playing at Southern California.
So am I surprised Guillory allegedly provided Mayo with thousands of dollars?
And am I surprised the money allegedly came from sports agency Bill Duffy Associates?
But it's one thing to imply something and quite another to prove something, to actually get somebody on the inside (like Johnson) to talk on the record. Which is why Naqi's work was tremendous and Guillory is an idiot, because everybody in the business of making inappropriate deals knows the circle consisting of those involved must be tight and trustworthy, and that all characters must be "taken care of" to the point where it doesn't make sense for them to get frustrated (like Johnson) and go on national television (like Johnson) to tell their story, damaging receipts in hand.
(When will these cheaters ever learn?)