Agent of Former USC Hoops Star Says Player Never Took Gifts

Agent: USC never interviewed O. J. Mayo during its investigation of Mayo’s relationship with a booster.

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Former USC basketball star O. J. Mayo's agent, LaPoe Smith, wants to clear the air. After a recent internal investigation by the University of Southern California resulted in sanctions on its basketball program for alleged NCAA rules violations involving Mayo and a booster, the former college phenom had a dark cloud cast over him.

Smith says that's not fair or accurate.

Smith tells the Los Angeles Times that Mayo did not accept any gifts or money while playing for or being recruited by USC. Smith also says that USC, the Pacific-10 Conference, and the NCAA have not attempted to contact Mayo about the allegations. On Monday, we chronicled the sanctions imposed on the hoops program. Allegations surfaced in 2008 that an agent paid USC booster Rodney Guillory more than $200,000 and that some money was funneled to Mayo, prompting this entire issue. 

"O. J. Mayo was totally in the dark about anything happening inappropriately at USC," Smith tells the Times. "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." Mayo's former coach, Tim Floyd, who resigned from USC last summer, denies any wrongdoing, the report says. Guillory would not comment on the agent's statement. 

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