“We Ain’t Come Here To Play School”: Todd Mayo EditionPosted by mlemaire on November 6th, 2012
Note: The hope is to turn this into a recurring feature that chronicles the academic troubles of Big East players that seemingly pop up every season. Of course if everyone in the conference hits the books and stays academically eligible, then this will be the only piece in this feature and I will feel foolish. Carry on.
The quote above came from Cardale Jones, the third-string quarterback for Ohio State who made waves on social media in early October when he tweeted out this opinion, letting the world know exactly how little he cared for academics. While Jones may have made for an easy target, he clearly is not the only elite athlete with disdain for schoolwork — just ask Marquette’s Todd Mayo, who will be academically ineligible until at least the end of the fall semester and won’t be allowed to practice or play with his team in the interim. Buzz Williams and the Golden Eagles were hoping the dynamic Mayo would make some strides offensively, become more consistent, and play a major role in Marquette’s attempt to reload following the departures of stars Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom. Unfortunately for Williams and the rest of his team, Mayo didn’t come to Marquette to “play school.”
If this were Mayo’s first off-the-court incident, the Marquette faithful and his coaches might be more willing to cut him some slack. But Mayo, the younger brother of Dallas Mavericks’ guard O.J. Mayo, has been with the program for less than two seasons and has already earned his fair share of negative headlines. Mayo was suspended last season for a game against West Virginia and suspended again during the summer for violating team rules. His teammates complained that he was aloof and didn’t want to be a part of the team, so Williams sent him home during the second summer session in hopes of helping Mayo mature and become more responsible. Apparently that strategy only worked for a while and now the Golden Eagles will be without one of their best scorers for the first part of the season.
Mayo averaged 7.9 points per game last season but was buried in the rotation for conference play and barely surfaced for air against Big East opponents. The Golden Eagles expected big things from him this season and he was one of the obvious candidates to fill the scoring void on the wing left by the departed Johnson-Odom. Instead, his career appears to be at a crossroads. You have to imagine that the patience of Williams and Marquette is starting to wear thin and that Mayo is on extremely tenuous ice in Milwaukee. Now he has the chance to either buckle down and return to Marquette as a humbled and dedicated player, or he can forsake Williams and the Golden Eagles and take his chances at finding a school willing to risk all the baggage he brings with him. For the sake of Mayo, Big East basketball fans, and of course Marquette, let’s hope he chooses the former option.