Prep hoops star Mayo suspended three games

Originally Published: February 12, 2007
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- O.J. Mayo, considered by many to be the country's top high school basketball player, will miss three games as punishment for being ejected and making contact with a referee in a Jan. 26 game.

The two-week suspension, retroactive to Feb. 3, was agreed to by Mayo's attorney, the Secondary School Activities Commission and Huntington High School.

Mayo called the suspension fair.

"I guess we have to serve whatever penalty we got, accept the consequences and move on," Mayo told reporters after a hearing in Cabell County Circuit Court in Huntington on an injunction that postponed sanctions for Mayo's actions.

Mayo's attorney, Mike Woelfel, said the player will serve the suspension during a home game Saturday against George Washington, on Monday at Parkersburg and Thursday against Scott County, Ky.

The suspension will allow Mayo to play in the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship on Feb. 19 and in a game against St. Patrick, N.J. (18-1), the No. 1 team in USA Today's national boys high school poll. Huntington (16-1) is ranked sixth.

"I am happy. There had to be some closure to this," Woelfel said.

Mayo can attend school, practice and games during the suspension, and the SSAC agreed to have an automatic two-game suspension run concurrently with a three-game suspension imposed by the Huntington principal Greg Webb.

After referee Mike Lazo called two technical fouls on Mayo on Jan. 26, Mayo came into contact with him, causing the referee to fall to the floor as he approached the scorer's table, according to Lazo.

"O.J. understands how he should represent himself and the school," Webb said. "He's in agreement that that particular night, he didn't uphold to what he's expected to do."

Mike Hayden, the SSAC's executive director, was on vacation. Assistant director Gary Ray said the SSAC is "in agreement with the principal and the direction he is going."

One of the nation's top seniors who transferred this season from Cincinnati's North College Hill, Mayo signed a letter of intent in November to play next season at Southern California.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press