SBD/Issue 163/Collegiate Sports

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  • Myles Brand Discusses One-And-Done Rule, O.J. Mayo Coverage

    Brand Discusses Recent Issues
    Facing College Basketball
    NCAA President Myles Brand, in a Q&A with Joseph Duarte of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, when asked about the NBA's age limit, said, "We need to keep in my mind that the NCAA itself has nothing to do with the basketball one-and-done rule. That's all negotiated between the NBA and the [NBPA]. Some may argue there's something wrong with the one-and-done rule, namely just having to be in school one year. I see it in a very different way. If you look at the whole situation, it's actually a help to education. Young men now have to prepare themselves in high school in order to go to college and be eligible to play in college in order to move on to the NBA if they are good enough." On NBA Commissioner David Stern's interest in expanding the requirement to two years, Brand said, "I'd rather them stay three or four years. Two is better than one." Asked if the Academic Progress Rate is working, Brand said, "Yes, it is. Again, it's not perfect, but not perfect in the sense that we are still sanctioning schools. If it was working perfectly, everybody would have got the message already, and we wouldn't have to sanction one-third of the Division I schools this year. We've seen measurable progress in terms of grade-point average and graduation and people staying in school." On forming a subcommittee to "examine ways to improve academic performance in basketball," Brand said, "We've tried to look at sports more individually. Particularly football and baseball over the last several years have seen good increments in academic performance. ... Basketball hasn't made much progress. ... One of the things we are considering is mandatory summer school for basketball." Asked if he has been "frustrated by the tone of coverage" in the case of former USC G and NBA Draft prospect O.J. Mayo, who has been accused of receiving improper gifts while in school, Brand said, "I think the part I don't like and find frustrating is that the next step to generalizing is, 'Oh, that shows there's something wrong with men's basketball'" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/14).

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  • BDA Sports' Duffy To Refute Allegations Of Improper Gifts To Mayo

    Duffy Says He Has Evidence Refuting
    Allegations Of Giving Improper Gifts To Mayo 
    BDA Sports Management President Bill Duffy, whose agency is alleged by an ESPN report to have paid more than $200,000 in order to secure former USC G O.J. Mayo as a client, said last night that he would prove his innocence in the near future. “In a fairly short period of time, we will have the ability to demonstrate that we had absolutely nothing to do with these allegations,” Duffy said in a brief telephone interview. “There will be documentation to demonstrate we had nothing to do with these allegations.” The ESPN story alleged that BDA Sports provided Rodney Guillory with $200,000-250,000 in cash and gifts for a period of three years and, the story stated, “about $30,000 of that made its way to Mayo and others close to him.” Duffy: “It has been reported that Rodney Guillory was a runner for BDA. That is an absolute falsehood. He was self funded and acting as an independent.” Duffy would not say what information he would provide to refute the charges or when he would provide it, but said he would do it “in short order" (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).

    LATE TO THE PARTY: The NCAA yesterday announced it has "new information" regarding Mayo and will investigate the charges. In S.F., Ray Ratto writes, "Don't let it be said that the NCAA isn't willing to react, albeit slowly, to a forming parade, and to jump in front of it. The righteous arm of amateur money-grubbing has risen up and said, 'We won't stand for this any longer.' ... You see, the NCAA doesn't like being played as a front for street agents, but it does like the goods the agents have" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/14). FOXSPORTS.com's Jeff Goodman writes, "The NCAA may be short-staffed when it comes to investigative resources, but it should have been aware of this entire situation due to Guillory's previous transgressions with former USC player Jeff Trepagnier and performed a thorough investigation. Ditto for the Pac-10" (FOXSPORTS.com, 5/14). In Houston, Jerome Solomon: "Don't be surprised if at the end of the NCAA investigation it is determined that Mayo was already a professional. Not a big-money NBA pro, but a not-so-amateur street pro." If the allegations are true, it "doesn't make sense that the NCAA and USC would allow an O.J. Mayo to play a year of college basketball, just because the NBA put his riches on hold" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/14).

    MAYO NOT ONLY ONE TO BLAME: In DC, Michael Wilbon writes the "primary villains here are the scumbags who have been preying on Mayo from age 12 or 13 or whenever it became apparent he had a talent that could make him a star." While Mayo "isn't an innocent, he's absolutely the product of a subculture in which the ability to play basketball at an elite level is valued more than being a good father, more than formal education, more than almost anything that appears to be within his grasp." Wilbon: "Mayo, like so many who've come before him, simply is doing the only thing he knows to negotiate the road before him" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/14).

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