Less than two weeks after an ESPN report connected Bill Duffy Associates with an insider who had allegedly funneled money to BDA’s new client and standout NBA prospect O.J. Mayo, CNBC has learned that the relationship between the two is over.
"Due to the overwhelming intensity of recent allegations regarding the recruitment of O.J. Mayo, we feel that our representation of him is a distraction for he and his family at this time,” Mayo’s BDA agent Calvin Andrews said in a statement released to CNBC.
“This should be the best time in his life and anything that takes away from that enjoyment and the experience of this process is not fair to him," the statement said. "We will maintain the greatest support and best wishes for him through this time and throughout what promises to be an excellent career for a very deserving young man. We will request that the Players Association waive the standard 15-day cooling off period enabling O.J. to sign with new representation immediately."
Under the current rules, Mayo can’t hire a new agent until at least 15 days after he terminates BDA by submitting paperwork to the union, which oversees player-agent relationships.
Sources say that Mayo soon will interview agents. Names that have been rumored to be in the mix are Andy Miller and Leon Rose and Maverick Carter.
Earlier Thursday, the top legal counsel of the union Gary Hall recused himself from leading the investigation into Mayo and Bill Duffy Associates after CNBC learned that Hall had at one time worked for BDA.
The investigation was brought about by an ESPN report earlier this month in which Louis Johnson, who was said to be a former member of Mayo’s “inner circle,” said the 20-year-old who played one year with University of Southern California accepted $30,000 in cash and gifts from event promoter Rodney Guillory. Johnson, who provided receipts to the sports network, alleged that Guillory received the money from Bill Duffy Associates, to ensure that Mayo signed with the firm. Mayo denied the claims and BDA refuted the connection.
The NBA and the NCAA investigations involving Mayo are not expected to affect his draft status.
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