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Move by Mayo was 'mutual'

May 24, 2008|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

O.J. Mayo's family attorney described the former USC basketball standout's parting from his agent as "a mutual decision" and said Mayo was focused more on preparing for next week's NBA predraft camp than choosing a successor to Calvin Andrews.

"It's fair to say it was in their mutual interest," attorney Mike Woelfel said Friday of the separation. "It was a mutual decision."

Mayo severed ties Thursday with Andrews and Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management, though it was immediately unclear who initiated the split. Ilana Nunn, a spokeswoman for BDA, said Friday she agreed with Woelfel's assessment.

Woelfel, one of Mayo's assistant coaches when he played at Huntington (W.Va.) High, said Mayo had also severed ties with Los Angeles events promoter Rodney Guillory, who has been accused by former Mayo confidant Louis Johnson of accepting more than $200,000 in cash and benefits from BDA and funneling a portion of that money to Mayo. Mayo and BDA officials deny any wrongdoing and Guillory has been unavailable for comment.

"As far as I know, Rodney Guillory is not in the picture," said Woelfel, adding that he did not know whether the separation came at Mayo's request.

Meanwhile, Mayo may be on the verge of reconnecting with Dwaine Barnes, the former club coach with whom he had lost touch the last few years after transferring from Cincinnati North College Hill High to his hometown Huntington High and then selecting USC. Woelfel said Barnes and Mayo spoke after one of Mayo's workouts in Chicago, where Barnes appeared as an advisor to Kansas State star Bill Walker. Mayo and Walker are lifelong friends and former high school teammates.

Mayo had not been contacted by NCAA investigators probing the allegations that Guillory and Mayo accepted improper benefits from BDA, Woelfel said.

The attorney said Mayo's charity donation of $460 in January went to the Ronald McDonald House in Huntington because Mayo's family had stayed there when he was born prematurely. Mayo had to make the donation after accepting complimentary Lakers tickets in violation of NCAA rules.

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ben.bolch@latimes.com

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