USC and Coach Tim Floyd had maintained the stance that they were clueless fools, not at all complicit. Now Louis Johnson reveals that in his interviews with investigators that he informed them that Floyd gave Guillory an envelope of cash.
The following is Johnson's account of the payment as told to Yahoo! Sports.Not exactly a smoking gun. It is not good, but there is little to corroborate it. That is about the only good news for Tim Floyd with this going public.
On Feb. 14, 2007, Johnson and Guillory packed up Guillory's black Infiniti SUV and were preparing for the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to attend the NBA All-Star weekend. Before they left, Guillory informed Johnson several times that he had to meet with Floyd so the coach could give him cash for the trip. Sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Guillory and Johnson headed toward Beverly Hills to meet with Floyd. During the drive, Johnson listened as Guillory and Floyd exchanged several cell phone calls as Floyd explained where the meeting would take place.
Upon arriving in Beverly Hills, Guillory pulled up to a stretch of cafes in the downtown shopping district, where Floyd was waiting on the sidewalk. Because there were no parking spaces, Guillory asked Johnson to circle the block in the SUV until Guillory was ready to be picked up. Johnson exited the passenger side of the vehicle, at which point Johnson saw Floyd and the two exchanged greetings. Johnson then got into the driver's seat and proceeded to circle the block while Guillory and Floyd met.
After approximately 15 minutes, Johnson saw Guillory waiting on the curb in front of the stretch of cafes and pulled over to pick him up. Once Guillory was inside the vehicle, he produced a white envelope with cash inside. Guillory told Johnson that Floyd had given him "a grand," and Johnson was able to view $100 bills inside the envelope. He said he believed there appeared to be "substantially" more than $1,000, although he did not count the bills.
Floyd did not exactly have a sterling reputation before this. Nothing explicitly bad, but the subject of rumors and whispers of less than above-the-board standards when it comes to recruiting. This is the first outright accusation of giving a payoff to a representative of a recruit.
It has been a while since anything has been heard from the NCAA investigations into O.J. Mayo's magical single season at USC. Sure there was the initial flurry almost a year ago. The NCAA, Pac-10, FBI, IRS, California's Attorney General all were looking into some aspect of the O.J. Mayo situation. Then it was joined with the Reggie Bush investigation and the two appeared to be heading nowhere.
According to the Yahoo! Sports report, Johnson told that story to all the government investigators last May. NCAA investigators were told about it last week.
Not surprisingly, Guillory has declined comment. As has USC and Floyd -- citing the fact that the NCAA investigation keeps them from commenting.
When or if USC and Floyd actually do comment, expect denials. That's about all that is left. Floyd would be done in coaching if this could be confirmed in any way. USC would likely face tremendously heavy sanctions from the NCAA.