Agent: Mayo didn't take money
The university issued self-imposed sanctions on the men's basketball program last week, including a postseason ban for 2009-10 and vacating the program's 21 wins from 2007-08, Mayo's one season at USC. The university said its own investigation had discovered NCAA rules violations connected to Mayo and his former advisor, Rodney Guillory.
Mayo's current agent, LaPoe Smith, who said he is a longtime member of Mayo's inner circle, said Mayo was not induced into attending USC, according to the report.
"O.J. Mayo was totally in the dark about anything happening inappropriately at USC," said Smith, who has been Mayo's agent since August, according to the report. "He always wanted to go to USC, and it had nothing to do with Rodney Guillory. ... O.J. just wanted to come to California, and whatever Rodney did to manipulate the situation he did on his own."
In 2008, on ESPN's "Outside The Lines," Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo and Guillory, accused Guillory of providing Mayo with improper benefits while Mayo played for USC.
Former USC coach Tim Floyd abruptly quit in June following allegations that he gave $1,000 in cash to Guillory, who helped steer Mayo to the Trojans. Mayo was one of the nation's most highly sought high school recruits at the time.
Mayo, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, directed comment to his agent on Tuesday before a game at Portland, "Save your breath. ... You can contact my agent if you would like to. I'm not really commenting on it right now," he said, the newspaper reported.
Floyd, currently an assistant with the New Orleans Hornets, has denied wrongdoing. Guillory could not be reached for comment, the newspaper reported.
Smith said Mayo was "undisturbed" by the allegations and subsequent sanctions.
"He never wanted to hurt the university. He loves USC. No money coerced him to come, he just loved California," Smith said, according to the report.
"Did O.J. take anything from Rodney Guillory? No," he said, according to the report. "How do we feel about what has happened at USC? USC did what it had to do."
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