Last Friday, Huntington High School's (West Virginia), O.J. Mayo earned two technical fouls in a basketball game and was promptly ejected. He "chased" the referee at the scorers table eventually knocking him to the floor. In West Virginia, two technicals and/or ejection is an automatic two-game suspension.
Mayo's assistant coach, who also happens to be a lawyer, filed an injunction to allow Mayo to play Tuesday. The lawyer says, "If there was contact, it was inadvertent or may have been accidentally initiated by the referee himself." He says nothing about the two technicals (again, automatic two-game suspension).
Here's the kicker. On Tuesday, Huntington played in the HoopHall Classic at Duke University. Speculation is that the contract between schools specifically mandated Mayo play to get full compensation. Huntington, of course, denies this. ESPN and WSAZ will air Huntington games later this year with the stipulation that Mayo play.
So what did you learn Mayo? That accountability is non-existent in your life? That you can do no wrong because you have armies of kiss-ass corporate types bailing you out?
And we wonder why kids like Chris Henry "lose their way".
When kids are projected to be great in seventh grade, there's a fundamental failure from all involved about the nature of growing their sense of accountability. The lawyer/assistant coach is failing to educate real world issues and how to answer for your own actions. Ultimately, he's slime.
Whoring out seventh graders and high school kids is damaging. There will always be exceptions (LeBron James) of course, but there's far more kids that believe they're the next great player forgoing simple lessons in life. It's sad really. High school sports directors don't care because they get money from sponsors for their high schools. The kids don't care because their fame will precede their empire of fortune. And unless you want the government involved, no one will (or perhaps can't) do anything.
If that's the way it is, then that's the way it is. But if we accept that, then we have no reason to be a bunch of soapbox heroes when Chris Henry, once again, gets in trouble. Seems to me the system he grew up with, allows him to do anything he want with no one to answer to.