It doesn't matter how soft or hard he bumped the ref, if the ref took a dive or not, he did it, just like any-other player he should be suspended. Sad to say he probably won't serve the suspension, he's bringing in too much money for the school and the WVSSAC.
I was seated just behind the announcers table. I was in Section 131 Row B Seat 7 so I had a perfect view of the events that happened that night. I believe that the two technical fouls that were called against Huntington and OJ were both unfair and not necessary. There did not appear to be any contact between OJ and the official and it seemed to be a blatant attempt by the referee to get OJ ejected from the game. It was obvious that the referee was bias against Huntington and OJ Mayo.
What is disappointing to me is that people in WV are so desperate to have the attention that they are willing to accept any type of behavior. If this were an athlete who was of average talent, there would be no argument. It is a case of double standards. There is one standard for normal folks and another for top athletes. In addition, whether or not the contact OJ made with the referee (and he did make contact with his body) caused the referee to fall or not, he should not have touched him. In the NBA and NCAA there is no contact at all allowed with the official. I really do not feel the referee was out to get Huntington High. Why would they be? In addition to all this there was a later technical foul on dunk by #21. He shoved the player he had just dunked on. I believe OJ’s actions set the tone for this behavior.
The problem that I see goes both ways. He needs to learn to shut up and play his game. He also needs to know that rules are in place to protect the players on the floor as well as maintain control of the game. He is not above the rules, no matter how good he is or what his future holds.
However, on the flip side of that, Kanawha County is infamous for horrible one-sided calling, not having control in game situations or losing it at some point. I have seen some atrocious calls made in that county. As a parent of children who play another sport at a school other than Huntington High, I have seen some unbelievably bad, one-sided, perhaps even deliberate, calls made against the opposing teams of the Kanawha County schools. This is why I am skeptical of what went on.
The fact that OJ Mayo was ejected from the HHS vs. CHS game is ridiculous. My father has officiated for over 20 years and I have played or coached for 26 years and this is a classic example of a referee trying to make a name for himself for ejecting the #1 player in the nation. The first technical foul was justified but the second technical was totally unnecessary. It is clear from the video that OJ said or did nothing to deserve the second technical. Also, the fact that the official "fell" from that phantom "bump" goes to show that the official was trying to make a scene. From my previous experiences and knowledge of the WVSSAC and Mike Hayden, nothing will be done to the official, even though it may have a tremendous effect on the HHS season as far as National Title hopes are concerned. Mike Hayden standing behind his officials when they're right is one thing, but if they're wrong discipline them just as players and coaches are disciplined and let OJ play in Lexington, KY on Friday.
--Brian from Williamson
I believe that OJ Mayo deserves not only a 2 game suspension, but personally, I think he should be suspended another five, for making contact with an official, if not longer. There is no excuse to make contact with a game official. technically that is assault on a game official. Mayo should be punished to the fullest extent.
The Huntington High School basketball team is now an official embarrasment on the town of Huntington and the state of West Virginia.
The worst part about O.J. getting ejected is not that he can't play in two basketball games, or that he chooses not to travel with the team. The worst part is the coaching staff, fans, and players feel that he has done nothing wrong, and he hasn't.
The blame should fall completely onto the plethora of coaches on the HHS bench. They have had no control over the basketball program for two years now, and this third one just caps it all off. There is one coach for every two players on the basketball team. Yet, during the commotion they were unable to keep five players from leaving the bench and also being ejected from the game.
Yet for everything that has happened, the blame is not on a nineteen year old superstar, nor is it placed on the shoulders of the coaching staff, it falls on the shoulders of a referee who appears to have thought that 8800 people came watch him officiate a basketball game. Its time for everyone to step up and take responsibility, which includes O.J., the official, and head coach Lloyd McGuffin, and assistant coaches Jimmy Clayton, Ron Hess, Mike Woelful, Arkell Bruce, and Steve Hall.
Success in today's society is measured on how many games you win and how many state championship rings you get to put on your fingers. I wish the Highlander basketball luck in both, because it makes the entire town proud to have champions among them. Lets just remember that success can also be measured in teaching the "kids" that winning with class is much more valuable than winning at all.