Perspectives on O.J. Mayo, USC and the NCAA

ESPN.com’s Pat Forde, in a scathing editorial, lays blame for the Mayo sacndal at the foot of USC and head basketball coach Tim Floyd.  Taking into a account another high-profile scandal that touched USC involving football player Reggie Bush, Forde goes so far as to suggest that USC should receive the NCAA death penalty.  While that suggestion appears to be overkill, it is difficult to accept USC’s claims that it knew nothing of the cash that followed Mayo.  USC knew what it was getting with Mayo from the day he committed, and USC simply chose to ignore the clear indications that something was amiss.  Forde also offers his perspective on the current state of affairs in collegiate basketball and recruiting:

It’s a scenario playing out right now on many other campuses nationwide, guaranteed. Agents and their runners are identifying who can play as early as college scouts are, and they’re commencing the jockeying for position. And we all know what wins most of those turf wars: money and favors. Most topflight young basketball players have at least been offered plenty before college, even if they haven’t accepted it.

Dan Wetzel, of Yahoo! Sports, offers an analysis of who is to blame for the Mayo fiasco.  Wetzel takes a position to similar to that of Dick Vitale, and blames the NBA and its draft eligibility rules, as well as the NCAA, which has been complicit in the NBA’s scheme to keep players from making the leap from high school to the NBA. 

[NCAA President Myles] Brand welcomed the one-and-done phenom for whatever ratings bump they provide. In doing so, he stomped on everything his organization claims to stand for – education, amateurism, fairness, et al. He made the likes of O.J. Mayo inevitable.

Perhaps more interestingly, Wetzel touches upon the realities of the business for sports agents.  Wetzel reports that an agent will need to spend at least $100,000 to sign a top-15 player.  Moreover, one agent reportedly spent $500,000 to land a player in this year’s NBA Draft.

Thomas Hazlett and Joshua Wright propose that colleges and universities should provide insurance for their athletes, to guard against the “one and done” problem and provide a more competitive alternative to leaving school early for the NBA.

 

Comments

  1. it’s funny. we’re talking about approx $30k that Mayo received and people are all up in arms. How much did USC & the NCAA receive from him playing in college and being in school. Also, if Mayo went directly into the NBA from high school, USC and NCAA probably would still made the same amount of revenue from games and the tournament. People are still going to watch college bball regardless if 5 to 10 players get drafted out of high school. I vote for changing the rule and letting players choose their own path – go to college or go to work. this is America, isn’t it? Why all of these rules?

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