Mayo says he is focused on basketball, not 'OTL' allegations

Updated: May 29, 2008, 11:31 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The NBA made sure the media knew there was a possibility embattled USC freshman O.J. Mayo might not make his scheduled media session Thursday because of a missed flight.

But Mayo caught the next airplane from Chicago to Orlando. And, in the middle of a pre-NBA draft media scrum in a banquet room at the Grand Cypress Hyatt, Mayo answered questions, mostly about his draft position, but some about the allegations raised by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he was funneled cash, gifts and extra benefits by a runner named Rodney Guillory, working on behalf of agents Calvin Andrews and his boss Bill Duffy of Bill Duffy Associates.

[+] EnlargeOJ Mayo
AP Photo/Reinhold MatayFormer USC star O.J. Mayo is surrounded by media at pre-draft camp on Thursday.
Mayo was his usual polite, well-spoken self with the media horde, and then again in a one-on-one interview with ESPN. And, as has been the case throughout the investigation and once it became public, he remained consistent.

He continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Did he accept any kind of money, gifts or benefits from Guillory?

"Not at all," Mayo said. "We went out to eat, I understand the rules, and I paid my part of the bill and sometimes I paid the entire bill if I had any."

Why then did former friend/insider Louis Johnson make the allegations about Mayo, Guillory and BDA?

"I don't know," Mayo said. "I understand that he's writing a book. I'm just focusing on the future, preparing for my future and NBA team workouts."

When was the last time he talked to Johnson or Guillory?

"I haven't talked to Lou, Louis since January and I talk to Rodney on and off," Mayo said. "I've just been eating, sleeping basketball."

In footage shot for "Outside the Lines," Mayo was seen talking to Johnson and Guillory outside the Galen Center at USC on March 7. The three of them left in Guillory's Infiniti.

Mayo said he hasn't been contacted by the NCAA, or any investigative unit with USC (compliance) or the Pac-10, which has its own investigative staff.

Will he cooperate?

"I can be as cooperative as possible," Mayo said.

Mayo said he has talked to teammates, and USC staff, but not about the investigation. Why did he cut ties with BDA?

"Me, my family and Mr. Andrews felt like it was a difficult situation and while we were comfortable with BDA at the same time, my mom kind of thought [we should go another direction]," Mayo said.

Mayo said he hasn't interviewed any agents yet. He said Tim Grover, a Chicago trainer, is helping him line up workouts with NBA teams following the pre-draft camp. Mayo said he hasn't been running drills with Miami's Dwyane Wade but has been lifting and going out to eat with him while working out at Grover's gym.

Mayo said he has "tunnel vision" and isn't concerning himself with the allegations swirling around him. Meanwhile, he believes he should challenge for the top spot in the draft.

"I really believe I can come in and contribute for any team possible," Mayo said.

Mayo will be in Florida through the weekend for the physical and agility testing. He will head out to team workouts over the next few weeks.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com