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On Sunday, May 11, "Outside the Lines" ran a story alleging that O.J. Mayo accepted gifts of clothing, a television and plane tickets for friends and family in violation of NCAA rules.
How will this affect his draft stock?
I spoke with several NBA executives, who had previously told me that their background checks on Mayo were positive, to get their take on these allegations.
"It's a complete non-issue to us," said one GM. "If we started eliminating prospects based off of accusations that they've taken money or gifts, there wouldn't be anyone left to draft."
"If I really like him, I still draft him," said another executive. "Of course I talk to him about the perception and how he has to steer clear of that kind of bad press, but I still take him if that's the player I like."
Said another executive: "You've got a poor kid from a single mother home who had a man come into his life and offer to buy him things. It sounds like O.J. may have taken some of the gifts. I don't know many kids who wouldn't. We've got to quit making these kids into criminals."
Both executives said that the background checks they perform mostly look for criminal activities, drug use, work ethic and practice habits.
Last week, we moved Mayo up to No. 3 in our Top 100. That's where he's staying.-- Chad Ford
The story of O.J. Mayo, Louis Johnson and Rodney Guillory is a unique and complex one. ESPN's Kelly Naqi has additional details. Story