Fault NBA, NCAA for Mayo mess
WOW, AN agent payola scandal involving USC and O.J. Mayo. How shocking. Simply unbelievable. Goodness, how could something like this possibly happen?
You chortle. Me, too. After all, only folks named Gomer or Goober wouldn’t have anticipated a development like Mayo’s breaking sooner than later in college basketball. Perhaps the only shocking and unbelievable part is that Mayo is the only high-profile player under intense scrutiny so far.

Exquisitely talented pre-adult basketball players are being mercilessly exploited at every turn these days — by agents, by universities, by a pro league that says they can’t play professionally until it says so even if most of these players have no interest in attending college.

Thanks largely to the NBA’s 19-year-old draft-eligibility rule instituted two years ago, a flood of hoops prodigies have been forced into the one-and-done college charade, where they cultivate their court credentials on the campus farm for a year until they become eligible for their big pro payday.

Mayo, Memphis’ Derrick Rose, Kansas State’s Michael Beasley, UCLA’s Kevin Love and Indiana’s Eric Gordon comprise a rather startling five-man freshman all-star team bolting the NCAAs for the NBA.

But in case you think this year is a fluke rather than a trend, consider that last year’s One-and-Done All-Stars werepretty striking, too: Ohio State’s Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Texas’ Kevin Durant, Washington’s Spencer Hawes, and a guy the Warriors

insidebayarea.com
5/13/08