Mayo got Lakers tickets from Anthony

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

USC freshman guard O.J. Mayo may have violated NCAA rules by accepting complimentary tickets from Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony to Monday’s Lakers-Nuggets game at Staples Center.

Although USC compliance officials could not be reached for comment, NCAA bylaw states that student-athletes may not receive “free or reduced-cost admission to professional athletics contests from professional sports organizations, unless such services also are available to the student body in general.”

It was not immediately clear if the NCAA would consider Anthony an agent of the Nuggets or merely an individual who gave tickets to a friend.

The tickets Mayo received were located behind courtside seats near mid-court and had a face value of $230 each.


A compliance director from another West Coast school said that although he did not have all the details, Mayo’s actions could constitute a secondary violation and that the NCAA could order Mayo to donate the value of the tickets to charity.

Mayo said his seats for his first Lakers game were so good “I could talk to [television analyst] Reggie Miller and tease him about UCLA.” Mayo and the Trojans defeated Miller’s alma mater, 72-63, on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.

Mayo said he didn’t know where his seats were located until he took them to an usher, “and he kept walking down farther and farther and farther. The next thing you know, we had pretty good seats.” Mayo was among the celebrities spotlighted during the national TNT broadcast.

Anthony made the offer of tickets at a party he hosted Sunday night, Mayo said.

“I was talking to him like, ‘Man, you’re out pretty late. You’ve got a game tomorrow against Kobe [Bryant],’ ” Mayo said. “He said, ‘Nah it will be all right.’ And then he asked, ‘You want to come to the game?’ And I was like, ‘Sure.’ ”