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A Roll of the Dice

O.J. Mayo denied allegations that he accepted any improper benefits as has been widely reported since Sunday. Mayo was interviewed By the LA Times’ Ben Bolch this afternoon.

In his most extensive comments since the allegations surfaced Sunday during an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report, Mayo said he "didn't accept anything" and would cooperate with an NCAA investigation into accusations that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in cash and benefits from Los Angeles events promoter Rodney Guillory.

"My family hasn't accepted anything, so I'm just waiting for the NCAA to do what they have to do to prove that I haven't done anything wrong," Mayo said. "I have nothing to hide, so I'm willing to do whatever to hurry the process."

The kid has guts I will give him that, more than Reggie Bush, in his willingness to cooperate. But is this a smart move? To me there is nothing good here. The first question I ask is about the cell phone and it is the easiest thing to prove. Clothes (regardless of who may have seen what at the clothes store), the flat screen TV and meals would hard to prove but the cell phone is easy.

I guess when you think about it, it really doesn’t matter USC’s allowing Guillory to have free reign of the basketball offices to me is enough with his past transgressions involving USC.

This should be fun to watch…

UPDATE 5/15:

There is a little more from the later release of the article and one thing that I forgot to mention yesterday.

What I forgot; one of the claims made by Johnson was that the money Mayo allegedly received was funneled through Mayo’s family or friends. Mayo states in the article:

I never have received money from Rodney, Louis, BDA or anything. All I got was a monthly $450 check from USC or I have friends and family that send me money."

Meh…I read that yesterday and really didn’t give it another thought. Yes, it was one of Johnson’s claims and that statement backs up his claim that as to Mayo getting money from friends but you have to prove that the money that Mayo received from family and friends actually came from Guillory/BDA (I think it did). A kid in Mayo’s position is bound to have a million hangers on and in order to stay in his good graces or hope to be in the inner circle later so they could give him money but that just doesn’t fit right. That seems to be a bit of a reach.

Mayo also, for the time being, is distancing himself from Guillory until this is all worked out.

Mayo said that he and Guillory, who could not be reached for comment, had not spoken since the allegations surfaced and that he would rather keep their relationship "kind of distant until I get to the bottom of things."

"I pray and hope that Rodney hasn't accepted anything from any agents," said Mayo, adding that he was unaware of a fake charity from which Johnson said Guillory withdrew funds. "He definitely didn't persuade me toward BDA."

Well, I definitely don’t buy that for all the reasons discussed over the past few days. I will give O.J., this he acting cool as a cucumber on this. He doesn’t seem phased about it all and he seems to have an answer for any of the allegations.

Like I said yesterday, we’ll see….