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Yahoo! Sports: Tim Floyd Gave Cash To OJ Mayo (The Program Building/Gap Closing Recruit)

The top lines from Yahoo! Sports bombshell that many have been hinting at for a while on message boards.  Apparently Tim Floyd was (allegedly) directly paying off his program building recruit (emphasis added throughout and HT to SuperBruinMan):

USC men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd made a direct cash payment to a man who helped deliver O.J. Mayo to the Trojans program, according to Louis Johnson, a former member of Mayo’s inner circle.

Johnson, a one-time Mayo confidant, has told both NCAA investigators and federal authorities – including the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney’s Office – that Floyd gave at least $1,000 in cash to Rodney Guillory, a man who allegedly lavished Mayo with improper benefits while the guard starred for the Trojans.

Such an act would constitute a major NCAA violation for USC, which is the subject of an ongoing three-year investigation into alleged improprieties in both the football and men’s basketball programs.

Hey ... good to see the LA Times really on top of this story ... again.

Anyway, to say the story is devastating would be an understatement. This particular blockbuster is beyond seedy and it doesn't appear to be standard allegation we see thrown around in the local papers. More on who and where Johnson provided the information re. Timmeh allegedly buying the services his program gap closing recruit:

Floyd’s alleged financial involvement with Guillory is a potentially damaging new twist for USC, and was disclosed to Yahoo! Sports last week by Johnson’s attorneys, Anthony V. Salerno and David Murphy. The attorneys confirmed that Johnson had gone on the record with his account of the payment twice: first in a group interview in front of the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney’s Office on May 28, 2008, and then again in the second of two interviews with NCAA investigators, which took place last week. Two members of USC’s outside counsel also took part in the second NCAA interview and heard Johnson’s account of Floyd’s alleged payment. Salerno added that Johnson’s account to federal authorities carried the threat of potential prosecution if Johnson was found to be lying.

“Louis knew that if he didn’t tell the truth in that meeting, he’d be in the same boat that Martha Stewart was in for deceiving federal authorities,” Salerno said. “The agreement that he was under, the explicit agreement was that he had to be completely truthful in his statement. Lying to a federal agent is a whole crime unto itself. If you’re going to talk to them at all, you have to tell the truth.”

Johnson also confirmed his allegation of Floyd’s payment to Yahoo! Sports.

“It’s a complete and accurate depiction of the event I observed between Tim Floyd and Rodney Guillory,” Johnson said.

Johnson told the NCAA and federal authorities the payment took place in the week leading up to the 2007 NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas – three months after Mayo committed to USC while finishing his final year of high school. His attorneys said Johnson perceived the payment as an extension of Floyd’s gratitude for Guillory’s delivery of Mayo to USC.

“It was clearly money in contemplation of inducing O.J. to go through with the decision [to play at USC],” Murphy said. “That was the understanding that Louis had – that this was money from Floyd to Guillory for them to go out and have a great weekend. It was the inducement for Guillory’s efforts in delivering [Mayo to sign with USC].”

Now it will be amusing to see how the PR machine from crosstown and all its lapdogs spin out of this mess, while all other blockbuster scandals still remain unresolved by the NCAA and the Pac-10 officials.

Not sure what more people around the country needs to read to realize what has transpired across town is not boilerplate scandals we see in major college programs. We have laid out over the years how the problem appears to be systematic based on the pattern we have seen in the mind boggling list of scandals and alleged violations during Pete Carroll and Tim Floyd's tenure at Southern Cal under the "leadership" of Mike Garrett.

Now more than ever the words "lack of institutional control" will be used by others (with what appears to be for good reason based on all the stories from last few years) to thread together the events at what looks like a total lawless, out of control program making a mockery out of the concept of student athletes.