ESPN’s Andy Katz has some interesting thoughts on the O.J. Mayo situation.
• How much will it help or hinder the NCAA's investigation that Johnson, a former Mayo associate, talked to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" before the NCAA?
When someone goes public, that can have an adverse affect on the NCAA's investigation because it allows the potential violators to cover their paper trail.
This is obvious, notice how Guillory has fallen of the face of the map? Johnson went to ESPN solely to make a big splash. That’s fine but to then say that he is looking out for Mayo’s interests is sanctimonious because he was a part of the problem and came forward only because he was missing out on his payday otherwise he would have perpetuated the situation. He is basically following a scorched earth policy.
• Who has to talk to the NCAA's enforcement staff?
The only people who are under an obligation to speak to the NCAA are those who are employed at a member institution or are currently eligible student-athletes.
In this case, Mayo has signed with an agent (although he has since cut ties with agents Bill Duffy and Calvin Andrews) and is no longer an eligible student-athlete. USC head coach Tim Floyd and the assistant coaches are all required to talk to the NCAA if requested. Guillory, Johnson and agents Duffy and Andrews are under no obligation to speak to NCAA investigators.
In cases in which boosters are involved, it is in their best interest to talk because they can be banished from contact with program.
This is no different than Reggie Bush. The alleged offending parties are no longer within the scope of the NCAA’s guidelines so they can thumb their noses and there isn’t a thing anyone can do. Mayo stated early on that he would talk to the NCAA but I have not heard any more about that in the past week or so. Yes, Mayo is trying to focus on the draft so he may not be willing to talk until after the draft. If he does talk to the NCA it would be a refreshing approach.
• Will USC's previous case involving Guillory affect this case?
In 2000, it was discovered that Guillory had provided airline tickets for then-USC basketball player Jeff Trepagnier. That previous history with USC and Guillory wouldn't come into play until the COI hears the case. If it gets to that point, the COI could consider that USC should have known about Guillory's previous violation.
To me this will be the straw that breaks the Camel’s back in the Mayo case and it is the one thing that I have been complaining about since the story broke. What in gods name was anyone thinking over there? Guillory should have been barred from the program for life since the Trepagnier situation. A guy like this does not change his stripes, he didn’t just find religion and decide to be a benevolent person. He is in it for the bucks plain and simple and he will take no prisoners.
• How much does the ongoing Reggie Bush investigation affect the Mayo case?
Bush, the 2005 Heisman winner, has been accused of receiving extra benefits from an aspiring agent while playing football at USC. But there has been no decision made in that case.
The NCAA enforcement staff will decide soon whether to roll the Mayo and Bush cases into one case.
If the same bylaw -- a player's receiving extra benefits -- was violated (even in two different sports), USC could be found to lack institutional control.
This is the big question and really the only one that matters. Who knows what the NCAA is thinking. They make oddball decisions all the time I see no reason why this wouldn’t be any different. The NCAA’s frustration with the Bush case could easily piggy back onto the Mayo case and they could hammer us out of frustration.
• What is the range of penalties for USC if a violation is found?
The enforcement staff will have to determine if a violation occurred and whether or not it was an institutional violation. Then it will have to decide if it was a major violation or a secondary violation before it would even get to the Committee on Infractions.
If it does get to the COI, that committee could hand out penalties of the full spectrum, from probation and public reprimand to postseason ban. The NCAA could also vacate USC's wins in which Mayo played (all 21 victories) and this year's NCAA tournament appearance.
Lets see what the NCAA does first before worrying about penalties. I really have no idea.
Just like the Bush case this is going to take a while to sort through. Where the NCAA goes is anyones guess.