When the O.J. Mayo story broke almost two years ago one of the issues we had here was Mike Garrett allowing Rodney Guillory to have access to the USC basketball offices let alone on campus after his involvement with Jeff Trepangier and his ultimate suspension from the team after Guillory paid for a plane ticket for Trepangier.
That has always been the biggest issue to me. How could Garrett allow Guillory back in? How could he not know that Guillory was involved with Mayo when it was Guillory who "delivered" Mayo to Tim Floyd? What made him take the risk of giving Guillory a second chance to burn USC? Some of it probably had to do with Garrett's wish to fill the Galen Center up and to sell the Founders Seats which were worth a boatload of money to athletic department. Maybe it was because Garrett was channeling his inner Rick Neuheisel to try and take away the basketball monopoly from Westwood.
Who knows, but what I do know is that Garrett being asleep at the switch in regards to the Mayo recruitment tells me a lot. Never mind that my Dad has shared a number of stories in regards to his interactions with Garrett over the past several years...I have heard many of the same type of stories from many others in how he treats people.
Getting Mayo with the hope of trying to put some life into the basketball program was a roll of the dice. It is pretty clear that Garret was trying to catch lightning in a bottle a second time like he did with Pete Carroll.
No one will ever question Garrett's love USC. No one will ever question or diminish all that he did for the school on the field of play. As USC's athletic director, no one will ever question his desire to have all of the athletic programs under his charge produce titles, by that I mean trying to have the best facilities available, hiring the best coaches and lining up the best competition.
I will never question Mike Garrett's vision for USC.
Simply said, Mike Garrett is USC.
But that does not make him infallible and he dropped the ball on the Mayo recruitment big time!
I had issues with Mayo BEFORE he arrived on campus but I was willing to cut the kid some slack...Maybe, just maybe it wasn't as bad as some in the press were making it out to be. Maybe he was a s mature as Garrett said he was. Maybe he was as humble and dedicated to USC as Floyd said he was...
Guess I was wrong...
Say what you want about T.J. Simers and his schtic but he says the exact same things and asks the exact same questions that I did when this all went down...
There is no way Garrett should have allowed Mayo to pull on a Trojans jersey. To do so was a gamble, and the NCAA frowns on that as well.
That's what makes the latest statement coming from Garrett so preposterous, if not self serving.
"USC takes allegations of NCAA rules violations very seriously," Garrett said.
If USC takes allegations of NCAA rules violations very seriously, how does Garrett allow Floyd to have a second conversation with Guillory, let alone ever meet Mayo?
"When allegations were made regarding our men's basketball program," Garrett's statement continued, "we immediately began an investigation and worked closely with the NCAA and the Pac-10 in an attempt to ascertain the truth."
Garrett could have prevented any investigation as soon as he was made aware Mayo was tied to the hip of the same guy who had already gotten USC into hot water.
Well, that is pretty much what I said here.
The problem is why is the press all of sudden now bringing this up when I was bringing it up almost two years ago?
I know Simers has an Axe to grind with Garrett. I also know that Simers likes to push buttons. He is an equal opportunity offender he has taken shots with anyone who he thinks is a legit target...that includes both Pete Carroll and Rick Neuheisel. But knowing all that he is right to question Garrett's lack of due diligence.
I cannot accept that it took USC 18 months to get to where we are today. What changed between now and when the story first broke to make the move of sanctioning the basketball program? I will let you guys speculate in the comments.
For those who disagree that this was not a hit taken to protect the football program...well, we'll see.
I could imagine the phone call that Garrett received when the McKnight story broke. I am sure the NCAA told Garrett that enough was enough and to batten down the hatches. Oh I am sure that USC was in close communication with the NCAA in regards to what sanctions were appropriate but I still think the NCAA is going to drop a bomb on all of it. it really isn't one big thing here...it is more like death by a thousand paper cuts.
And this is only what we know.
It is rumored that that clown Tracy Pierson over on BRO is trying to float that USC has more of the McKnight type" issues just below the surface.
Who knows...he has been spewing that crap for a few years now without EVER backing it up before the fact.
It isn't my call to say that Mike Garrett needs to be fired. I am not a USC booster...and that is on prupose. It gives me more room to operate objectively here.
SImers' questions are legit...just like mine. The question is has anyone else asked Mike Garrett these questions?