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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Is O.J. Mayo bad for college basketball?

    Huntingtons O.J. Mayo soars for a dunk against South Charleston during the finals of the Class AAA boys basketball state tournament in Charleston, W.Va., March 17.
    Huntington’s O.J. Mayo soars for a dunk against South Charleston during the finals of the Class AAA boys basketball state tournament in Charleston, W.Va., March 17.

    College basketball with Mayo is disgusting

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    We’ve been given a laundry list of reasons why O.J. Mayo is bad for basketball. He’s been suspended for fighting. He’s been cited for possession of marijuana. He was famously ejected from a game after allegedly assaulting a referee. For the grand finale of his high school career Mayo threw a pass to himself off the backboard and dunked the ball while his team held a late and insurmountable lead. He threw it into the crowd and celebrated, drawing a technical foul.

    Mayo will take his act to college next year when he suits up for USC. Already, tongues are wagging. Michael Wilbon has described him as a “”punk”” and those around him as “”sycophants.””

    During a recent appearance on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, USC coach Tim Floyd spent the majority of the interview defending his star recruit instead of discussing the NCAA Tournament. Mayo hasn’t stepped onto a college court yet and he’s already a distraction.

    I’m not going to jump all the way on the O.J. Mayo dog pile. Mayo is just a 19-year-old kid. We should not expect him to be an ambassador for the game of basketball. Still, for entirely different reasons, Mayo is not good for college hoops.

    According to a New York Times story, USC coach Tim Floyd did not recruit Mayo. Instead, Floyd was contacted by a Los Angeles event promoter and friend of Mayo’s who signaled the athlete’s desire to promote his brand name by playing in Los Angeles.

    Call me na’ve, but college shouldn’t be a product springboard. The only reason Mayo is even considering USC is because the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement bars him from declaring for the draft right out of high school. Mayo’s talent and his showboat demeanor belong in the NBA, which is dedicated solely to the bottom line of entertainment.

    The NBA doesn’t have to pretend that it cares about Mayo’s academics or product endorsements. Mayo is another one-year-and-done superstar in waiting who is going to force people to spend a lot time wringing their hands over whether he’s attending class, illegally talking to shoe companies, etc. This might be a boon for talk radio, but it’s not for college basketball.

    -Alex Dalenberg,sports writer

    Mayo uses USC just like they use him

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    When any high school student starts considering which college to attend, he or she weighs out the pros and cons of each school as it pertains to life goals. Maybe the student considers location, affordability, the school’s reputation, etc. So what is wrong with O.J. Mayo doing the exact same thing, albeit with different considerations, when he chooses where to go to school for a year before leaving to the NBA?

    There is clearly a double standard when it comes to Mayo and the regular student. He chose USC because he perceived it to be the best fit for him and his future, just as any student does when he chooses where to go for school. And besides, every big-time recruit selects a college with the mindset of using it as a springboard to the NBA; the only difference is Mayo doesn’t sugarcoat his intentions to appease the masses. But the bigger issue here is the people who say the way he has gone about the recruiting process is bad for college basketball – these people are a joke.

    What is wrong with Mayo “”using”” USC to better himself, for goodness’ sake? USC is sure going to use him. If you don’t think the Trojan basketball program is going to have the most attention it’s ever had once Mayo steps on campus, think again.

    USC will sell out every game, have a record number of games nationally televised and be the lead story on SportsCenter all because Mayo is wearing the cardinal and gold. USC will love the Mayo era, even if it is only for a year. His jersey will fly off the shelves in the campus bookstore, and fans will pay almost as much attention to roundball as they do to the pigskin, which is something that is almost unimaginable at USC.

    One can’t even fathom how much money USC will make off of Mayo’s decision to spend a year in the City of Angels, and Mayo won’t see a cent. So who is really using whom?

    While I don’t necessarily think college athletes should be paid – that’s a different issue – there isn’t anything wrong with athletes trying to use colleges as much as colleges use them. Anyone who says otherwise is a hypocrite. Mayo made the decision to go to USC because it is the best fit for him and his career goals.

    Lay off him just because he doesn’t tell you what you want to hear.

    -Cameron Jones,sports writer

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