Can Basketball Keep Agents Out of High School?

Mayo scandal shocks few, and penalties remain slight

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2008 12:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – The NBA can't stop agents from scurrying around high school and college basketball these days, offering illegal gifts to sign young players. Although the players are getting younger—more go pro right out of high school—punishments for players and agents alike remain slight, the New York Times reports.

"There’s no question that people are getting closer to these kids at a younger age; that’s just the way it is," says a college coach. "But proving it is very difficult until someone comes out and blows the whistle because he got left out."

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, left, who entered the NBA straight out of high school, may have helped encourage sports agents to target younger athletes.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
NBA commissioner David Stern has suggested two ways to help stem the tide of agents targeting high schoolers, including upping the minimum NBA-entering age to 20.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Southern California's O.J. Mayo allegedly took thousands of dollars worth of gifts and benefits from the agency he eventually signed up with, a practice that might be getting more common.   (AP Photo/Dave Weaver, FILE)
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