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May 12, 2008

Agency representing Mayo denies illegal activity

LOS ANGELES The head of the sports agency representing O.J. Mayo denied any illegal activity involving the USC star on Monday, a day after ESPN reported Bill Duffy Associates gave cash to an event promoter who provided gifts.

Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo's, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that BDA Sports provided Rodney Guillory with about $200,000 before Mayo arrived at USC. Johnson said a portion of that money was given to Mayo.

"I haven't seen any evidence of them saying we gave O.J. Mayo a dime, and that has not happened," Duffy told The Associated Press. "I don't see any evidence of any other type of transaction. This is what this guy is saying. Obviously his credibility should be in question as well."

Mayo has declared for the NBA draft and hired BDA Sports' Calvin Andrews as his agent. ESPN reported Sunday that Mayo received about $30,000 and other benefits while in high school and during his lone season at USC, then entered into a verbal agreement that allowed the agency to represent him when he turned pro.

But Duffy said he only recently met Mayo, and only knew Guillory through the player.

"That's what's crazy. I met O.J. Mayo for the first time like three weeks ago. I met him once before that in Vegas, I ran into during USA Basketball for like 30 seconds. He was running to a car, I was coming into a hotel, somebody introduced us, we shook hands and that was it. This is the first time I've actually formally met him."

NCAA rules prohibit giving college athletes money or other gifts. Johnson, who claims he didn't get paid, also gave ESPN receipts and invoices for many of the purchases.

"From what I can see, those receipts were from his purchases," Duffy said. "We had nothing to do with that. I don't even know who this Lou Johnson guy is."

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