A former associate of USC freshman guard O.J.
Mayo claims the basketball star received thousands of dollars in
cash and other gifts from an event promoter over the past four
years that would violate NCAA rules, ESPN reported Sunday.
Louis Johnson told ESPN's "Outside the Lines," that Rodney
Guillory, a Los Angeles-based event promoter, gave Mayo about
$30,000 and other benefits while he attended high school and his
sole season at USC. Mayo has decided to forgo his sophomore year
and enter the NBA draft.
Guillory received monthly payments from a Northern California
sports agency Bill Duffy Associates, the network reported. A phone
message left for the agency was not immediately returned Sunday.
Johnson said the agency provided Guillory with about $200,000
before Mayo arrived at USC. Guillory used most of the money to
support his own lifestyle but also gave a portion of it to Mayo,
Johnson told ESPN. Mayo then entered into a verbal agreement that
allowed the agency to represent him when he turned pro, Johnson
Giving college athletes money or other gifts violates NCAA
"I will not allow these allegations to become a distraction to
me and my family," Mayo said in a statement to ESPN. "I have not
engaged in any wrongdoing."
Mayo got into some minor trouble with the NCAA earlier this year
after he accepted free tickets from Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo
Anthony to an NBA game. Mayo didn't miss any games but had to
contribute $460 - the total value of the two tickets - to a
USC said in a statement that NCCA and Pac-10 officials have
looked into Mayo's status "before and during his enrollment at
USC, and did not identify any amateurism violations."
Johnson said he doesn't believe USC officials knew Guillory
provided cash and other benefits to Mayo. However, he claims some
USC coaches had regular contact with Guillory.
Johnson, who claims he didn't get paid, also gave ESPN receipts
and invoices for many of the purchases.