USC basketball imposes major sanctions

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USC this morning announced it has implemented self-imposed sanctions on its men’s basketball program for NCAA rule violations related to O.J. Mayo.

USC will be banned from the postseason this season, including participation in the Pacific 10 Conference basketball tournament. USC will also lose one scholarship for this season and next, and its coaches face limitations to recruiting.

The Trojans are also vacating all wins from the 2007-2008 regular season, when Mayo played for the team. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference from its participation in the NCAA tournament that year.


In a news release, the school said the sanctions were imposed “because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster because of his role in Mayo’s recruitment.”

Louis Johnson, a former associate of Guillory and Mayo, alleged that Guillory supplied Mayo with money and gifts on behalf of a sports agent. Johnson also alleged that former USC Coach Tim Floyd gave Guillory an envelope full of money.

“USC takes allegations of NCAA rules violations very seriously. When allegations were made regarding our men’s basketball program we immediately began an investigation and worked closely with the NCAA and the Pac-10 in an attempt to ascertain the truth,” USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett said in a statement. “When we’ve done something wrong, we have an obligation to do something about it and that is exactly what we are doing here.”

USC under new Coach Kevin O’Neill won its eighth straight game Saturday against Arizona State. The Trojans are 10-4 overall, 2-0 in Pac-10 play, despite a roster depleted when top players and recruits left after last season.

-- Mike Hiserman