By Ben Cook, Monday May 12, 2008
The ESPN story on the buying and selling of O. J. Mayo as presented on ESPN's Outside the Lines this weekend was interesting television. Not surprising, just interesting. Imagine a super talented basketball player being recruited, bought and paid for by a sports agent or his emissary even while he was still in high school. Imagine that same player going to college and enjoying all the perks — doesn't every dorm room have a flat screen TV in it? — that go along with being a pampered super star. ESPN thought this was big news. It would be bigger news to find one who hasn't been bought and paid for today. The Outside the Lines report was thorough, well done with a whistleblower on camera who had been on the inside and receipts documenting many of the abuses—perks?—that took place. The whistleblower, one Louis Johnson, even said that Mayo was just "playing the game" and he didn't mean the basketball game. He meant the superstar game. By the end of the show, anybody who didn't believe the story was true just had not been paying attention. Read More.