Thursday, June 12, 2008
Updated: June 17, 9:38 PM ET
Johnson met with officials from USC, Pac-10 and NCAA Monday
By Kelly Naqi
Louis Johnson, a member of former USC guard O.J. Mayo's inner circle until three months ago, met for about six hours on Monday with investigators from the NCAA, Pac-10 and USC, according to an attorney for Johnson.
"The substance of the meeting is subject to a confidentiality agreement and, out of respect for that, I'm not in a position to comment on the subject matter which was covered," said David Murphy, an attorney at the Los Angeles-based law office of Anthony Salerno.
Johnson and his attorneys met with five people: two representatives from USC (one from its legal department); one member of the Pac-10's Enforcement Division; and two representatives from the NCAA (one member from its Enforcement Division and one from its Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities Division), according to Murphy.
The representatives reviewed documents and receipts that were contained in the "Outside the Lines" report that aired on May 11, in which Johnson alleged that Mayo -- a projected NBA lottery pick -- received thousands of dollars in cash, clothing and other benefits while he was playing in high school and for USC this past season from Rodney Guillory, Mayo's longtime mentor and a former Southern California high school basketball tournament promoter.
Johnson alleged Guillory received money to maintain his relationship with Mayo while he was in high school from Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management, a sports agency based in Northern California, with the expectation Mayo would sign with BDA Sports when Mayo turned pro. Johnson said Guillory received "anywhere between $200,000-$250,000 in cash and other benefits" from BDA Sports, and that about $30,000 in cash and other gifts went directly to Mayo. Mayo denies he received any cash or benefits from Guillory, and Guillory has repeatedly declined to comment.
Johnson said BDA Sports stopped providing Guillory with funds in the summer of 2007, before Mayo began his fall semester at USC. Johnson said Tony Hicks, a convicted felon and longtime friend of Guillory's, helped provide Guillory with an American Express card in the name of a sickle-cell anemia charity. Guillory used the card to purchase gifts for Mayo, including a hotel room, thousands of dollars of clothing, a 42-inch flat-screen television and meals at various restaurants, according to Johnson. Hicks has declined ESPN's requests for an interview.
When Mayo declared for the NBA draft on April 17, he had signed with Calvin Andrews, a senior vice president at BDA Sports, to be his primary agent. Shortly after the "Outside the Lines" report aired, Mayo dropped BDA Sports. He has since signed with CAA sports agent Leon Rose and Maverick Carter of LRMR Innovative Marketing -- both of whom also represent Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James.
Andrews and Bill Duffy, BDA Sports chairman and CEO, have declined repeated requests for an interview. Sources say that Guillory and Mayo split after a "face-to-face confrontation," although Mayo told ESPN.com he speaks with Guillory "on and off."
The California Attorney General's office, the U.S. Attorney's office, the IRS, the FBI and the National Basketball Players Association are also looking into the allegations.
"At this point, the next step is to allow the investigations to proceed," Murphy said. "What else will be requested of Mr. Johnson is unknown at this point."
Reporter Kelly Naqi works in ESPN's enterprise unit.