Report: Floyd paid cash for Mayo

Updated: May 13, 2009, 2:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- A former associate of NBA star O.J. Mayo says that Southern California basketball coach Tim Floyd paid a man who helped get Mayo to play for the Trojans, Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday.

Louis Johnson, the former associate of Mayo's, told the Web site that Rodney Guillory told him that Floyd had given Guillory "a grand." Johnson said he was able to view $100 bills inside an envelope Guillory had.

Floyd
Floyd

Last year on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," Johnson accused Guillory of providing Mayo with improper benefits while the guard played for USC.

Johnson said the payment occurred in 2007. Johnson was not present for the actual exchange, but Guillory reportedly told him that they were meeting Floyd to receive money that they could spend at All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. Johnson saw Guillory meet Floyd outside a cafe, and they drove around the block.

When Johnson picked up Guillory 15 minutes later, he was shown the envelope containing money.

Yahoo! Sports reported Johnson has told NCAA investigators and federal authorities -- including the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney's Office -- that Floyd paid Guillory.

Mayo
Mayo

If Floyd did pay Guillory for delivering Mayo to USC, that would be a major NCAA violation.

Yahoo! Sports also reported that Southern California is the subject of an NCAA investigation into alleged improprieties in both the football and men's basketball programs.

The football probe stems from allegations of 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush receiving improper benefits from a sports marketing agent while at USC.

Guillory and Floyd declined to comment to Yahoo! about the latest accusations by Johnson.

USC general counsel Carol Mauch Amir also declined comment.

The NCAA does not comment about ongoing investigations.

Johnson had described Guillory as a "runner" who steered Mayo to the Bill Duffy Associates (BDA) sports agency. Johnson said Guillory received between $200,000 and $250,000 from BDA Sports for his efforts, which resulted in Mayo initially signing with BDA when he left USC after one season for the NBA in April 2008.

Mayo had switched to agent Leon Rose before he was drafted third overall by Memphis last year and was runner-up for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award to Chicago's Derrick Rose.

Johnson's attorneys, Anthony V. Salerno and David Murphy, confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that Johnson had told FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney's Office investigators on May 28, 2008, about his account of the payment from Floyd to Guillory. Two weeks later, Johnson told the NCAA, according to the attorneys.

Salerno told Yahoo! Sports that Johnson's account to federal authorities carried the threat of potential prosecution if Johnson was found to be lying.

According to Johnson's attorneys, Johnson spoke with the NCAA last Friday morning at 10 a.m. PT. The conference call -- which lasted about an hour and a half -- included Johnson, his attorneys, two members of outside counsel representing USC and the two NCAA investigators who interviewed Johnson regarding Mayo last summer.

Salerno said the NCAA investigators prefaced their line of questioning by saying they "needed to tie up some loose ends."

"Our sense is that something is imminent," Salerno said. "I think the NCAA is very close to concluding their investigation. I would say it's looming large and soon."

Information from ESPN's Kelly Naqi and The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE