USC Hoops: Postseason Ban, Scholarship Redux

USC announced self-imposed sanctions for its basketball program today because of what the school called, “NCAA rules violations related to O.J. Mayo.From USC release:

Mike Garrett Tim Floyd OJ Mayo

(USC AD Mike Garrett, Tim Floyd, OJ Mayo)

The self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by twenty days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In addition, because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when Mayo competed while ineligible. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

Makes you wonder just exactly what Tim Floyd & Co. did during the recruitment and subsequent stay of O.J. Mayo. Also makes clear that whatever happened, it was likely pretty damn serious as these sanctions could end up being only the beginning.

Reporter Lance Pugmire of the LOS ANGELES TIMES on May 13, 2009:

USC basketball Coach Tim Floyd delivered cash to the man who steered O.J. Mayo to the university, according to a former associate of the player and the middleman.

That associate, Louis Johnson, says Floyd met Rodney Guillory outside a stretch of Beverly Hills cafes on Valentine’s Day in 2007, giving him at least $1,000 cash in an envelope — which Johnson has since reported to investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, IRS and the NCAA.

No wonder Floyd was seen at casino after his departure from the school.

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Vasquez Gets Vicious After Receiving Racial Slurs

• Why did LaLa Vasquez get into some vicious verbal jawing with Mavericks fans? Because she claims she was receiving racist taunts.

LaLa Vasquez

• What the Hellman’s? USC basketball coach Tim Floyd supposedly spent $1,000 to get some Mayo.

• Huzzah! NASCAR events can trace their roots back to Medieval times.

• Ex-NBA player Corie Blount is sentenced to one year in prison for having too many blunts, but not without a final jab from the presiding judge: “Cheech And Chong would have a hard time smoking that much.”

• Since we’ve already covered the Miami Caliente, it’s only fair that we also take a look at the Lingerie Football League’s other Florida franchise - the Tampa Breeze.

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Speed Read: Floyd’s Follies Continue to Roil USC

Tim Floyd, USC’s men’s basketball coach for the moment (and this after almost becoming a leader of Wildcats), allegedly paid a handler a thousand dollars in cash to be delivered to O.J. Mayo in a successful attempt to encourage the young point guard to follow through on joining USC for a season after signing his letter of intent.  (No, the handler wasn’t Li’l Romeo.  Good guess, though.)

O.J. Mayo Tim Floyd

Everyone from the handler to Floyd to USC could be in varying levels of trouble if true.  Therefore, absolutely no one except YAHOO! SPORTS’ source will speak on the record.   Their investigative journalism has been hit and miss, though their commitment to providing original reporting has not wavered.

It’s unclear how seriously the reporting from the site with the silly name can be taken, though, as they clearly do not have fake conversations where they hype their stories around a ridiculously small table while being filmed in black-and-white.  It’s not really journalism if it’s colorized.

E60 from ESPN

(Journalism!)

From one stereotypically smoky back room to another, Delaware’s legislature has passed a law permitting sports betting in a desperate attempt to fill a gaping $600 million maw in the state budget.  The governor has promised his signature on the bill once the state Supreme Court has spoken to the state constitutionality of the bill.

Delaware is one of only four states with a legal exemption to a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling and the only one east of the Mississippi.  State lawmakers have high hopes of becoming a gambling mecca for sports enthusiasts; one called the opportunity “an unbelievable cash cow”.  Again, it’s unclear how true this can be if no one will be allowed to gamble on the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Wilmington Blue Rocks - Rocky Bluewinkle

(The only thing you can tease here is the moose, sir)

Finally, from one set of rocks to another, Boston came back to defeat the Orlando Magic 92-88 last night to take a 3-2 series lead in a highly predictable collapse from the team in blue that has only one mode: jack the three up and cross your fingers.

Magic against Celtics

Houston also got a condescending pat on the head for their Game 4 effort without Yao Ming before being penetrated 118-78 by the Lakers and falling behind 3-2 in their series. The Rockets now only have one reliable position: fetal.

Phil Mickelson and wife

(”… so that’s winning!  Interesting.”)

On the other hand, three fine NHL Game 7s have now been scheduled after wins by Anaheim and Boston last night.  Detroit never found its offense despite approximately 40392109 minutes on the power play while Carolina’s Cam Ward couldn’t quite figure out what all that goalie equipment should be used for. One possibility: handing off $1,000 in cash to the next O.J. Mayo?

Anaheim Ducks

And now a hail of bullet points discovered behind the olive loaf sandwich in the break room fridge; you know, the fridge that sent half your office to the hospital

Do you believe sports betting should be legalized?

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Demetrius Walker And The Hoops Hype Machine

It’s shocking that it took until 2009 for the NCAA to ban the recruiting of eighth graders. Aside from the obvious ethical quandaries inherent in objectifying middle schoolers the same way one would evaluate a head of cattle, it can’t be good for the students themselves. So a case study is perhaps in order. Remember Demetrius Walker? He managed to be washed up at 16, and make a comeback at 18.

Demetrius Walker

What happens when you can dunk at 8 years old, and you receive your first recruiting letter at 11? There’s nowhere to go but down. And what happens when it turns out you just had your growth spurt early, and all of your classmates start catching up to you? Demetrius Walker’s freshman year in high school was a huge disappointment, and you’re not alone in thinking that a ninth-grader being called a disappointment is all sorts of wrong. 

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NBA Rookies Auctioning Off Jerseys For Charity

In a story that won’t garner one tenth the attention that the Suns’ and Rockets’ awkward Greco-Roman gropefest “brawl” did, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love is spearheading a charity effort to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital, the largest hospital system for catastrophic childhood illness in America. Their weapon of choice: autographed jerseys.

Joe Alexander jersey
(The perfect gift, especially if the recipient is named Alexander.)

The Rookie Relief For St. Jude’s program has auctions open until November 20 on jerseys for almost all of the 1st rounders from this year’s draft (Russell Westbrook and D.J. White are still unaccounted for, probably because they hate sick children), plus several former 1st-overall picks and a handful of other veterans.

Even better, Love will match all donations up to a total of $12,500. So those of you with a kind enough heart to be regular donors to St. Jude’s will see your money go farther - in addition to owning a nice jersey that a very tall man has scribbled on.

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Speed Read: Man, The NFC West Is Really Awful

The last time we say the Cardinals take on the 49ers on Monday Night Football was Opening Night of last season, and the result was a 20-17 loss that set the tone for a disappointing 2007 season for Arizona. Flash forward one year and change, and the Cardinals were able to take out the 49ers 29-24 on the strength of a last second goal line stand.

Arizona Cardinals OL Deuce Lutui

Quite a difference one season can make, right? Instead of Matt Leinart looking confused under center, you had Kurt Warner, looking for all the world like an MVP. And at the end of the day, Arizona is 6-3, and a full four games ahead of their nearest NFC West rivals.

Allen Rossum

But really, if you are a Cardinals fan, do you feel any better about the team after last night’s game than you did before? To quote an ex-coach, the 49ers were who we thought they were: a mediocre team with nothing to lose. Great teams put teams like that away early. Good teams let them hang around until the 4th quarter before pulling away. The Cardinals rely on a stop as time expires at the goal line after a questionable “down by contact” ruling.

Perhaps this says less about the Cardinals than it does about the overall awful nature of the NFC West?

In other sports news that happened while you were looking to unload your extra Inauguration tickets:

TJ Downing

What will the end result be of the Arizona Cardinals’ season?

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Bloggas: Leitch vs. Bissinger, The Final Showdown

• DEADSPIN finds Will Leitch taking care of some last-minute business by having a chat with sports blog nemesis Buzz Bissinger.

Buzz Bissinger Costas Now

Michael David Smith of FANHOUSE has an interview with freshly-minted DEADSPIN Editor A.J. Daulerio. (that was fast!)

• Neil Best of NEW YORK NEWSDAY presents a classic clip of the late George Carlin talking baseball on “Kiner’s Korner“.

• SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s CAMPUS CLICKS stays in step with O.J. Mayo’s new “Juice Monsta” footwear.

• YARDBARKER punches up some videos of the fun goings-on from Fight Night at the Playboy Mansion.

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After Big Three Picked, NBA Draft Loves (UC)LA

To the surprise of pretty much no one, the 2008 NBA Draft began thusly:

David Stern Derrick Rose

1. Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose, Memphis

2. Miami Heat - Michael Beasley, Kansas State

3. Minnesota Timberwolves - O.J. Mayo, USC

The only real suspense in the opening stages was who was going to go next after the big three. And the next two teams were Bruin-up some surprises. Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy For Joe Morgan

• UNCOACHED knows very well that pimpin’ ain’t easy for Joe Morgan.

Joe Morgan pimp

• WE ARE THE POSTMEN wants to know what Mike & Mike were doing at Wrigley Field Wednesday night.

Darren Rovell of CNBC runs along news that even before joining an NBA team, O.J. Mayo has already signed with Nike.

• The Austrians can have their free beer. RUMOR & RANTS reports that Russian soccer players in Euro 2008 have been promised two girls for each goal they score.

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O.J. Mayo a Charity Case in More Than One Way?

We heard something about O.J. Mayo possibly accepting gifts bought with money sent through some kind of sickle cell anemia charitable front a few weeks ago, but we didn’t pay much attention to it. Why? We’re recently adopted the USC Athletics method of journalism. This means we don’t look at any news that might or might not be happening so we can’t be accountable for it later.

Instead, we looked at LOLcats all day. Aren’t they precious?

LOLcat

So we’re sure we didn’t hear anything from the L.A. TIMES today about the California attorney general’s office looking into posssible charges as part of this case. That would certainly be well outside of our new policy. After all, O.J. Mayo could not have willingly accepted money from Rodney Guillory illegally as long as this amount of cuteness exists in the world:

LOLcat

OMG that is soooooo true.
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