O.J. Mayo in ref flop flap

For those who (like me, until today) haven’t been following this nonsense with high-school basketball phenom (and USC superstar-to-be) O.J. Mayo “shoving” a referee, this video should bring you up to speed:

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That’s from WOWK-TV in West Virginia. Here, via Luke Winn, is the YouTube clip of the whole incident:

Also, this article is worth reading, particularly for quotes like “As a neutral bystander, this was the most biased referee I have ever seen” and “I think O.J. Mayo should have controlled himself better. But this ref took a dive. He wasn’t pushed.”

Anyway, here’s the latest on the kerfuffle. You gotta love it when stories about high-school sports involve District Court judges.

(Hat tip: AO.)

17 Responses to “O.J. Mayo in ref flop flap”

  1. Brett says:

    Whenever someone pre-qualifies their statement with “As a neutral bystander”, they usually are not!!

  2. Brett says:

    Ok. watched the video a couple times and I really can’t see where the ref was pushed, unles OJ pushed him with his dick.

  3. Patrick says:

    What a total frickin’ joke.

  4. Patrick says:


    To rebut your comment, I would highlight that wherever O.J. Mayo plays, he attracts basketball enthusiasts that have no affiliation with either team in the competition. While many of them are there to watch him play, few are Huntington high supporters. The same has been true of other prep phenoms such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett. Any bias a “neutral bystander” would have, would be tied solely to his or her desire to watch O.J. play. Otherwise, I’d say it would be fair to call oneself as such.

  5. AO says:

    Huntington HS coach:

    “Beginning of game, Referee Lazo tells me that OJ Mayo better not talk with him tonight because he is not going to put up with him at all. He said he needs to keep his mouth shut.”

    “During game Lazo initiates conversations with Mayo. Mayo is on the line during a foul shot conversing with his own players about foul trouble. Lazo again tries to taunt him by telling him he needs to be worried about himself because he is going to toss him out of the game if he doesn’t shut up.”


  6. Anonymous says:

    I studied the video and agree with Brett on the non-push.

  7. alphadog says:

    I’ll agree that the ref amp’d up his reaction to coming into contact with Mayo. However, its obvious that Mayo was targeting Lazo as he walked through the group of officials prior to the “push”. Mayo deliberatly walked over to Lazo and put himself in a position where bad things can happen.

    I hope Mayo receives some serious punishment for this (although we all know it wont happen). No one needs another thug athlete with an inflated sense of greatness.

  8. Tbone says:

    What thuggery? It doesn’t look like he was talking and it certainly looked like a dive by the ref. The kid is getting a jam job on this.

  9. Ken says:

    Frankly, I did not think even the first technical foul was warranted. He makes the dunk, the ball bounces right back to him and he takes 2 1/2 steps before the ref starts to give him the T. Why didn’t the ref just ask for the ball…and the T was given by the ref who was far away from the ball…not the one by the back court.

    Brendan…on another matter, I emailed you a story on Charlie Weis’s lawsuit a couple of days ago using the tips{at]brendanloy.com email address shown on your website. (FWIW..here is the link: http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/football/articles/2007/01/24/weis_cant_bypass_publicity/?p1=MEWell_Pos2)

    However I got the message back noting that it was “deferred” at trojanloy@yahoo.com.

    Don’t know what that is all about but thought you should know.


  10. uscroger says:

    First the “Bush Push” and now the “Mayo Slip”

  11. Patrick says:

    OJ Mayo did not act like a thug in this situation. He just didn’t. The ref is a total poser d-bag. I’m friends with a guy who was OJ’s teacher at North College Hill High School in Cincinnati, and he has only good things to say about OJ. Bill Walker, he said, was the punk.

  12. DBrooks says:

    I don’t want to give too many details because I don’t want to incriminate my relative, but I have a relative who is very active in high school basketball in WV. He knows many people associated with both Huntington and Capital High Schools, and also people involved in refereeing. He has absolutely no reason to pick either side of this situation other than an interest in the facts and truth of what occurred. He told me last night during a phone call that people from both schools admit a lot of jawing was going on, but that OJ Mayo wasn’t doing it as much as several others, and that the official is known as a bit of a loose cannon who had expressed prior to the game that he “wasn’t going to put up with any crap from Mayo” or others on the Huntington High team. My relative also said that people from both schools think that Mayo didn’t in any way push the ref, although it is obvious he walked up to him to ask what he did to incur the second technical. He also said that while Mayo is known to be very confident, and not afraid to say so on the basketball court, that he isn’t any kind of troublemaker, or a “bad” kid. FWIW–that’s what I have been told. To me, it looks obvious on the video that Mayo never did anything to cause the ref to fall down–it really looks like the guy slipped. My relative said that Mayo thought the ref had had some kind of cramp, and was actually thinking he was going to bend down and help the guy up at first. It is not unknown in WV sports for a little bit of “homecooking” to go on in certain cities and counties, but it usually takes place at smaller venues. It certainly doesn’t take place at the Civic Center in Charleston. Off topic–I actually saw people like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, KC Jones, Lenny Wilkens, and many others play in that same building when I was a boy. Those were the days.

  13. alphadog says:

    Patrick, did you see the way Mayo was staring at the ref after the first “T”? Did you notice that he had, for no good reason, walked through the group of ref and made contact? How can you defend these actions? It obvious that the ref is an idiot, but that doesnt mean Mayo is without fault.

  14. David K. says:

    That ref should be fired. What a ridiculous display of childish behavior. That was obviously a faked fall definitely some sort of vendetta against the kid. The fact that I agree 100% with Patrick on something should convince people in this case :-)

  15. Ed (sfv) says:

    Mayo deserved, at most, a one game suspension.

    The thing I want to know is where the hell his coach was. If the “word” was out that this ref was out to get Mayo, his coach should have a) read Mayo the riot act as to behavior, and b) once the first technical was assessed, bring him to the bench for immediate substitution.

    The one thing Mayo and his supporters cannot defend is that following the first technical, the official is walking away. It is a universal truth that a player just doesn’t follow an official in this circumstance. At a minimum, the second technical (and ejection) is guaranteed.

    Did Mayo’s coach warn him to be on his best behavior or did he not? If he did, it’s on Mayo. If he didn’t, the coach shares a yooge amount of any blame.

    Put it this way, what would Charlie have done? What would he then do if one of his charges went after a ref? Uh huh.

  16. myron says:

    man you have got to be joking that official need to be go to acting class and get his money back

  17. wes powes says:

    i think `ol ref slipped on some mayo