More Answer Friday

Where are the Champions League or Mitch Mustain questions?

Q: What’s going on with the USC beat writers having nothing to do with all the recent major scandals breaking in the media? The Reggie Bush scandal was broken by Yahoo, while the OJ Mayo scandal was broken by ESPN. Are the local papers simply not conducting any kind of investigative journalism? Are they afraid of being sued if they run these stories, while the national media are not? Were any of these stories known to the local beat writers prior to breaking in the media but they chose to sit on them? Is there simply fear on the part of the beat writers that they will be banished by those within the USC athletic department if they reveal too much, so they decide to run more apathetic pieces?

A: The reasons are far less conspiratorial, unfortunately. The Reggie Bush story was leaked to NFL writers by an agent who was upset that Bush refused to sign with him. So he called reporters he knew. As for Mayo, Louis Johnson wanted to make the biggest splash possible and ESPN was the perfect choice for that. If I broke that story or the L.A. Times, I doubt Myles Brand would be talking about the case the next day, because ESPN makes a huge impact across the nation.
Obviously, I had my suspicions about Rodney Guillory and I’ve already said I spoke to people at USC about him. But without any kind of documentation, which Johnson apparently provided ESPN, these stories cannot be written. Also, Bush’s family lived in San Diego, so it was not known to the beat writers in Los Angeles what was going on down there.

Q: Is Guillory banned from campus yet or is he still a fixture in the basketball office? Would banning him be tantamount to admitting they were wrong? And why would they allow a convicted drug dealer (Johnson) into the locker room? Are you worried that perhaps there are more things the coaching staff is (rather conveniently) unaware of?

A: I haven’t seen Rodney Guillory around recently, but what reason would he have to be there? Mayo’s gone and on his way to the NBA. If he gets another player under his wing, it would pose an awkward situation for USC. As far as Johnson’s drug conviction, I’m sure USC would say it was unaware of that. I’ve already heard that from one source. Are there more things that have been conveniently overlooked? Is the sky blue? But we’ll see if they become problems.

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