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Will they see the task through??

I’ve been on the road the last few days so I apologize for the lack of posting.

Louis Johnson met with the NCAA and the Pac-10 in regards to the O.J. Mayo situation this past Monday.

Investigators from the NCAA and Pacific 10 Conference and officials from USC have met with Louis Johnson to discuss his allegations that a sports agency funneled money to basketball star O.J. Mayo through an intermediary before and during his one season at USC.

In a seven-hour meeting Monday at the Los Angeles office of one of Johnson's attorneys, NCAA investigators led the questioning of Johnson and reviewed receipts that the former Mayo confidant had provided to ESPN for an "Outside the Lines" report that aired last month, Johnson attorney David M. Murphy said.

Murphy said the receipts, which included hotel bills, credit card receipts and cellphone statements, would soon be forwarded to the FBI, which along with the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. attorney's office is probing alleged criminal transgressions by Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management and possible tax evasion and misuse of charitable organization funds by Mayo advisor Rodney Guillory.

I like the fact that is moving quickly instead of the Bush mess that has dragged on now for two years. More importantly I love the fact that law enforcement is looking at this very closely. Hopefully they are finally drawing a line in the sand about agents and runners potentially tampering with amateur athletes. I just hope they have the stones to see it through and really put some teeth in the laws that are already on the books.

More important its clear that SC is going to be on the hot seat because of Guillory’s already documented past with SC.

Unlike the federal probes, Murphy said the NCAA and Pac-10 investigation was "clearly looking more toward anything USC may have done or turned a blind eye to."

We have asked that question here already. How were they not paying attention?

Rick Evrard, an Overland Park, Kan., attorney who advises universities on NCAA rules, said institutions generally have a "heightened responsibility" to protect themselves from agent representatives who have previously engaged in documented wrongdoing.

"Once an individual is involved in a violation, or if the institution had some kind of notice that this individual hasn't been completely within the rules or regulations, the [NCAA] committee on infractions will ask the institution, 'What safeguards did you take to prevent this from happening a second time?' " said Evrard, a former NCAA investigator who added he was not speaking specifically about the USC investigation.

"Are you letting him into your student lounge? Are you letting him sit behind the bench? And [if so], the committee will ask, 'Why? You know he's been a source of problems in the past. Why is the institution giving him that kind of access?' "

Nobody more than me wants SC to be cleared of all this but I have hard time seeing that happening because of Guillory’s known past. Somebody had to remember him from the Trepangier incident in 2000. SC may use the "we didn’t know" defense but as I have said before why would SC then ban Guillory from getting Mayo’s tickets. Of course I am not blind to the fact that this heightened interest into this situation is more than likely an attempt by the NCAA to also clear itself in the botched job they did along with the others in clearing Mayo early on. There is plenty of blame to go around here as someone at the NCAA or the Pac-10 surely could have remembered Guillory for the 2000 incident. I mean they can’t all be deaf, dumb and blind can they?

Changing directions for a bit but staying in the same vein; one other thing caught my eye earlier this week.

One was the story on ESPN about K-State assistant coach Dalonte Hill.

Hill was the main reason Kansas State earned the services of Beasley for one season. Beasley originally committed to Charlotte when Hill was on staff with Bobby Lutz. But then Huggins recruited Hill to his staff at Kansas State, and when Hill left for Manhattan, Kan., Beasley switched his commitment to K-State. And the forward honored the commitment as Hill stayed on the staff with Martin once Huggins bolted for his alma mater, West Virginia, a year ago.

Beasley is now gone after one remarkable season in which he helped make Kansas State nationally relevant in college hoops, something that a public relations staff could never have delivered. He also led the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament's second round. And he will likely be a top two pick in the NBA draft on June 26.

"A youngster like Michael Beasley is a once-in-a-lifetime [player]," said Krause, who took over for former AD Tim Weiser on April 4. "We have youngsters in the queue, and Dalonte and the entire staff is a big part of that. We're looking at a long-term investment."

Hmmm…that’s an awful lot of money to pay an assistant coach that "delivered" one of the top two players in this year’s NBA draft and supposedly has few more players in the queue. Now, I am not insinuating that Hill has done anything wrong and before any more KSU fans get into a uproar here I would have said the same thing if it was any other school including USC. The line I am trying to draw is done much more eloquently over at Money Players:

Success in college sports is pretty simple. Bring in the best available players and give them good coaching. In the era of "one and done" there is a premium is on recruiting. No doubt "x and o's" coaching matters, but it's more important to devote resources to recruiting activities. If athletic departments are investing in private jets to make it easier for head coaches to recruit, why not invest in assistant coaches who have deep relationships with top recruits? In the final analysis paying an assistant coach $420k reflects the marketplace for those at the top of the player procurement game.

Curious thought: What's the difference between an AAU coach, a runner, a college recruiter, and an agent? The skills seem very interchangeable and, in fact, I know several who have worked their way up career ladder -- or down, depending on how you view this whole business.

That last paragraph illustrates just how easily the lines can be blurred and is really no different than a former congressman leaving congress and becoming a lobbyist. You can’t tell the players without a scorecard anymore – Snake handlers, Popes and swamis all feeding at the same trough…

Right, its all done with a wink and a nod.