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NCAA promises to investigate Mayo

By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - Saying the NCAA has "new information,"
president Myles Brand promised to investigate former Southern
California basketball star O.J. Mayo, who allegedly received
thousands of dollars in gifts from money given to an event promoter
by a sports agency.
On Sunday, ESPN reported that Bill Duffy Associates provided
Rodney Guillory with about $200,000 before Mayo arrived at USC.
Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo's, told "Outside the
Lines" that Mayo received about $30,000 and other benefits from
Guillory while in high school and during his one season at USC.
Mayo declared for the NBA draft after the season and hired BDA
Sports' Calvin Andrews as his agent.
Brand, speaking Tuesday in Houston to kick off this week's
Division II National Championships Festival, said that "our
enforcement division has new information" about Mayo's case "and
as a matter of fact, when we have new information on any case, we
will investigate."
He would not comment further on the specifics of Mayo's case.
Duffy denied any illegal activity involving Mayo on Monday, but
USC acknowledged that the school is working with the NCAA and the
Pac-10 "in a cooperative investigation to review these new
allegations."
NCAA rules prohibit giving college athletes money or other
gifts. Brand said the schools have more of a direct obligation than
the NCAA to shield their athletes from sports agents, boosters and
other outsiders.
"We are not the cops on the corner," Brand said. "The schools
themselves have the responsibility to follow the rules and that
means, and includes, separating agents from interfering with
student-athletes."
At the Final Four last month, Brand and NBA commissioner David
Stern announced a cooperative effort to improve areas of youth
basketball. Brand said Tuesday that one of the main initiatives of
the partnership will focus on "revising recruiting and other
activities."
"Pre-collegiate basketball is something we definitely need to
address," he said. "We're really focused on changing that
environment. Yes, I am concerned about it."
Brand said he has no say on whether the NBA will raise its age
limit when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in
2011. Currently, the league's minimum age is 19. Mayo turned 20 in
November and joined the growing number of players who play one
season in college and bolt for the pros. Memphis star Derrick Rose
and Kansas State's Michael Beasley also declared for the draft
after their freshman seasons.
Brand would like to see the NBA require players to stay in
school for "two, three or four years," but says he's powerless to
sway any decision.
"The NCAA has no ability to influence, in any way, the age
rule," he said. "So any age limitation rules, the 19-year-olds
who are so-called "one and done," are the result of bargaining
negotiation between the NBA and the players' association. The NCAA
was not involved in any way in that bargaining in setting up the
rule. Only the NBA management and the players association set those
rules."
Brand said he won't be afraid to sanction USC or any other
high-profile school caught in violation of NCAA rules. He admitted
that punishing the schools sometimes is not enough to deter agents
and other outsiders from influencing players with cash, gifts or
other benefits.
"This is not acceptable behavior and on occasion, it's
illegal," Brand said. "You get thrown in jail if you rob a bank,
but people keep robbing banks. The fact of the matter is these
kinds of activities are unacceptable, they are unfortunate. We
expect the schools to enforce the rules and protect our
student-athletes."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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