For the second time in four months, Buzz Williams has reinstated shooting guard Todd Mayo to the Marquette basketball team, a source confirmed to Paint Touches on Thursday.
Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel first had the report.
Williams spoke with Mayo and his family on Thursday to determine whether Mayo, who had become eligible for the second semester per NCAA requirements, could co-exist with others on the team and understood the commitment being asked of him.
Mayo will be in uniform Saturday against LSU, though it’s unknown if he will see the court. Mayo had been completely removed from the team — no workouts, no film sessions, no individual drills — until Monday, when he rejoined the team.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard missed the first semester after being ruled ineligible on Nov. 5, four days before the team was set to open its 2012-13 season aboard an aircraft carrier against Ohio State.
Mayo had worked out with the team during the preseason, but was behind schedule after being sent home for the second session of summer workouts, which Williams officially announced on June 28. Williams cited a lack of understanding Mayo had on what it meant to value a Marquette scholarship, and Mayo told Paint Touches in October his relationship with his head coach wasn’t where it needed to be when Williams made the decision to send him home.
Multiple players, including Chris Otule, Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue did reveal that Mayo came back from his summer suspension a different person. Otule stated that the sophomore was “just more fun to be around.”
After the NCAA’s ruling in October, JS Online’s Michael Hunt wrote that there was a “90 percent chance” Mayo would not return, but Paint Touches learned shortly after that number was inaccurate. No decision had been made, and as Buzz Williams said, it was in Mayo’s hands to fix the mess he alone created.
Still, that same source revealed that Mayo becoming eligible per NCAA standards did not automatically put him back on the team. That decision was Williams’, and today’s information would indicate the Marquette head coach believes Mayo is over his past faults.
Academic issues have troubled Mayo in the past, as he opted for prep school before signing with Marquette in April 2011. Notre Dame Preparatory School, Mayo’s stop post-high school, was the source of an NCAA investigation in September for a number of topics, including “academic and eligibility issues.” 2012 recruits Sam Cassell Jr. (Maryland) and Myles Davis (Xavier) were ruled academically ineligible after spending the prior year at Notre Dame Prep.
Including Mayo’s suspension at West Virginia for events relating to the night six Marquette players were caught underage at a local nightclub, he has now been reprimanded twice by Williams, and once by the NCAA. He’s on a slippery path already as a 22-year-old sophomore, and likely is on a zero tolerance probation of sorts. Simply put, Williams can’t afford anymore leeway on Mayo’s actions.
But with Mayo reinstated, he’ll help a Marquette team receiving 17.4 percent of its points from 3-pointers. That ranks 326th of 345 teams in the country, a number sure to improve with Mayo’s shot back in the lineup.