The NCAA giveth and the NCAA taketh away. And the NCAA giveth again?
Well, that appears to be the situation with Marquette’s Todd Mayo, brother of NBA athlete O.J. Mayo, who has been reinstated and will suit up when the Golden Eagles face LSU Saturday.
"He will be in uniform. I would like him to play, but we will have to see," Marquette coach Buzz Williams told ESPN.com via text message.
His reinstatement comes just days after Marquette suffered a 49-47 loss at UW-Green Bay Wednesday.
From the Journal-Sentinel:
Academically ineligible for the first 10 games, Mayo was cleared Thursday after coach Buzz Williams met with Mayo's family.
Mayo will be in uniform Saturday against LSU. Whether he plays is uncertain because he was not allowed to practice or use university workout facilities during his suspension.
Williams knew earlier in the week that Mayo's grades were good enough for NCAA reinstatement, but the coach wanted to explain the situation in a face-to-face meeting with Mayo's family.
"He is eligible, but I wanted his family to understand exactly where he is with all his academics," Williams said.
Prior to the season, Mayo was deemed academically ineligible. And that wasn’t Mayo’s only challenge. He’d been sent home in the summer to “think about whether he wanted to be part of the team.”
That’s the pressing question about Mayo’s return. Sure, he’s back. But is he ready to be a teammate?
His absence has affected a program that lost Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom after last season. But his presence wasn’t always positive.
The last thing Williams needs is division and drama within a 7-3 squad that plays UConn and Georgetown in its first two Big East games before traveling to Pitt and Cincinnati (with Seton Hall in-between) in a one-week stretch. Marquette has to start strong to avoid an early hole in conference play.
So the timing seems favorable.
Mayo averaged 7.9 points in 21.1 minutes per game last season. This season, Marquette’s offense is ranked 55th in efficiency. But its 47-point effort against the Phoenix and a 49-point output in a loss at Florida Nov. 29 showcased its flaws. Williams could use another scorer.
Marquette’s 68.6 ppg is 13th in the Big East. So Mayo can help, especially with Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett (7.8 ppg) still adjusting to a new system.
But the sophomore’s contributions will depend on his attitude, especially since he’s coming on board midseason.