If ESPN Report Is Correct OJ Mayo Is Victim, Not Culprit

Philip T BooseyContributor IMay 12, 2008

In regards to the recent story about OJ Mayo receiving tens of thousands of dollars in cash and products, I feel this is another case of a person taking an opportunity that was handed to him.

And while he isn't completely innocent, he also isn't completely to blame either.

As reported on ESPN's Outside the Lines, this all started while Mayo was still in high school. And if true, he was a minor who probably was caught up in the prospect of a lot of money and all that was offered to him for his playing ability.

Offer almost any high schooler that kind of money for doing something he or she already loves and is good at and you will be hard pressed to find someone to pass it up.

Especially if the person offering up the money leads the person to believe they wont be caught.

Now I admit that Mayo isn't completely free of all his actions either. I do feel that the adults that did this for him are the ones who are the most wrong in this case. But at the same time he knows this is not allowed in the NCAA.

But if he was lead on by adults so he would agree to what they wanted, on a top of being such a young man not used to such people or treatment, then it’s hard to expect he to do otherwise.

On the topic of what the NCAA should do to keep this from happening, I'm not sure there is much more they can do. Like other rules in this country, if people want something bad enough, they won’t care of the consequences.