As a USC alumnus, I am embarrassed, disappointed and heartbroken over the allegations in the O.J. Mayo situation and the still-looming, unresolved Reggie Bush case. Thank you, Bill Plaschke [May 14], for finally writing a column that I can get behind.
Mike Garrett has chosen to look the other way to fill seats at the Coliseum and the beautiful new Galen Center, and now the Trojans will probably be paying the price for years to come.
Who is doing the vetting of the athletes in USC's compliance department? Mr. Magoo?
Surprise, surprise -- another high-profile USC sports star was allegedly caught receiving illegal payments while still in school. I fully expect the NCAA and Pac-10 to pursue this matter with the same level of diligence and integrity that they did while investigating Reggie Bush. In other words, they won't do a darn thing because it's USC.
According to "Tarnished Heisman" (and I believe it), in 2004 and 2005, in violation of NCAA rules, Reggie Bush accepted almost $300,000 in money and other benefits. Now O.J. Mayo is alleged to have accepted up to $30,000 in money and gifts.
I think it is wonderful, that in only three years the USC administrators have lowered the money their amateur athletes make by $270,000. It appears they've got a handle on the problem.
John Paul White
In response to the O.J. Mayo scandal, I hear the majority of the blame being heaped on the NBA for setting an age limit and requiring young men who do not want to be in college to attend. My response: tough.
The NBA is a professional organization with billions of dollars at stake and they are perfectly within their rights to require a certain level of experience before entering the league. For every LeBron or Kobe, there are five high school players who declared too early for the draft with visions of dollar signs floating in their heads and ended up playing in Europe, or worse, not at all.
The NBA has taken various steps to protect the quality of its product; the NCAA and its program schools must do the same. Maybe start with inquiring into why your star player from a poor single-parent home is riding around in an Escalade and talking on an iPhone.
I wonder what potential sanctions USC faces from the NCAA in the wake of the O.J. Mayo allegations. Would the Trojans be forced to relinquish their first-round exit from the tournament?