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May 15, 2008

Mayo denies allegations of cash and gifts

LOS ANGELES Former USC basketball star O.J. Mayo has denied allegations that he received cash and gifts from events promoter Rodney Guillory and said he was confident an investigation will determine he did not violate NCAA rules.

"I know for a fact that I haven't accepted anything," Mayo told the Los Angeles Times for Thursday's editions. "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."

Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo's, claimed in a segment of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that Guillory received money from Bill Duffy Associates and funneled cash and gifts to Mayo.

Mayo, who made this past season his first and last for the Trojans, declared for the NBA draft last month and signed BDA vice president Calvin Andrews as his agent.

NCAA rules prohibit giving college athletes money or other gifts. Mayo said he will cooperate with the investigation by the NCAA, the Pacific-10 Conference and the university.

Johnson, who has worked as a sports writer and has a cocaine conviction, provided receipts to ESPN that purported to prove that Guillory provided Mayo with food, clothes and other services.

"I understand compliance and I understand the rules," Mayo told the Times. "I wouldn't pay for everybody but I would at least pay my end. When I went to go shop every once in a while, (Guillory) might have taken me to the store in his vehicle, but he didn't pay for any clothes for me.

"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."

Johnson's attorney, Jeff Silberman, said his client's point is "to fix the system and avoid exploitation of future athletes and not in any way to hurt O.J."



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