Originally published May 4, 2013 at 09:11p.m., updated May 5, 2013 at 12:10a.m.

Report: McLemore’s AAU coach took agent money

Kansas guard Ben McLemore slaps hands with KU fans following his 36-point effort, the most by a freshman since Danny Manning, following the Jayhawks' 91-65 win over West Virginia on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore slaps hands with KU fans following his 36-point effort, the most by a freshman since Danny Manning, following the Jayhawks' 91-65 win over West Virginia on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University’s athletic department is looking into a USA Today report that freshman basketball player Ben McLemore’s former AAU coach received $10,000 and three expense-paid trips to Los Angeles from a middle man who represented agents and financial advisers this past season.

St. Louis-based AAU coach Darius Cobb told the paper that he accepted two cash payments of $5,000 during the 2012-13 season from Rodney Blackstock, the founder of Hooplife Academy, a sports mentoring organization based in Greensboro, N.C.

Cobb said he also went on three trips to Los Angeles and that Richard Boyd, a cousin of McLemore’s, traveled with him on two of them. The trips, USA Today wrote, were for January/February meetings with sports agents and advisers hoping to represent McLemore if he left for the NBA after the season. McLemore has indeed declared for the 2013 NBA Draft.

“Late this afternoon we received an inquiry regarding the relationship between the family of Ben McLemore and a third party, Rodney Blackstock. This was the first time this inquiry had been presented to us,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said in a statement. “In accordance with the conditions and obligations of its membership in the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference, the University of Kansas will review the information and process it with both of those entities if necessary. We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”

Zenger told the Journal-World he would have no further comment. Coach Bill Self offered no comment on the matter.

Boyd in an interview with USA Today denied making the trips to Los Angeles. Cobb told USA Today that McLemore knew “little to none” about Blackstock’s financial involvement in the player’s life and did not know Cobb received $10,000 from Blackstock.

However, USA Today reported that Blackstock attended three games at Allen Fieldhouse this past season courtesy of complimentary tickets provided to McLemore by KU. Blackstock, the paper said, also paid the bill ($400 or $500) for McLemore’s birthday party at a Lawrence bowling alley. Cobb also said a payment from Blackstock went toward hotel rooms in Lawrence for some attendees of the birthday party.

USA Today said McLemore’s mom, Sonya Reid, sat with Blackstock at KU’s game versus Texas in Austin.

According to USA Today, McLemore’s amateur status could have been put at risk because of payments Cobb said he accepted from Blackstock. USA Today writes that an athlete’s family members, friends and coaches cannot accept money or gifts from agents or anyone working for them.

Cobb said Blackstock gave him money because he wanted Cobb to direct McLemore to Blackstock. Cobb told USA Today that Blackstock introduced McLemore’s family to multiple Los Angeles-based sports agents during the season. Cobb also told USA Today that he had, on occasion, helped the family financially by paying bills and buying McLemore clothes and food. The paper indicated Cobb was on McLemore’s guest list for five home games this season, and Cobb said he also attended some road games.

Cobb told USA Today he has come forward because he wants to educate families of players and expose those who pursue amateur college athletes and their families.

“Let me be the crooked AAU coach. I was willing to take the brunt of it for the sake of this kid. I wanted to keep him pure,” Cobb told the paper.

USA Today reports that, in the past, the NCAA has handled similar situations on a case-by-case basis. If McLemore’s amateur status was compromised last season, it is believed KU could risk forfeiting games in which he played.

Editor's Note: Because of a glitch in our software, the comments counter on this story combines the total of comments on both the and versions of this story, even though each story (while identical) has its own set of comments. Please go to the other version of the story to see the additional comments. Thank you.


ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

Non story...Nothing to see here...Move along...Just a slime ball trying to blackmail or a NBA team dropping the info in hopes making B-Mac fall to their spot.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow! Imagine this guy passing up a chance to spread his pessimistic joy!! Wow!

Another time to agree with ahpersecoachingexperience.

Sae Thirtysix 9 years, 3 months ago

Ahp-flipper says "no big deal"

I don't like the "watch LHorn game with BMac tickets next to Mom"

jhox 9 years, 3 months ago

I hope the NCAA does the right thing here. They allowed Cam Newton to play in the SEC championship game and in the BCS championship game after his Dad admitted seeking money for his services, but said Cam knew nothing about it. This situation seems much less egregious than that.

KU seems to always get the most harsh rulings from the NCAA in relation to minor infractions. There is probably little reason to think this situation will be any different. Meanwhile, a certain school in a state known for its bluegrass gets off scott free and wins a National Championship with a player whose family reportedly received $200,000 for his services, from agents of the school (according to a major news paper who refused to retract the story when threatened with a law suit). No investigation, no nothing.

Alec White 9 years, 3 months ago

Seems as if Mclemore had little knowledge of any minor infractions his cousin may have committed. So, naturally, the NCAA will probably overreact and penalize us severely.

Boouk 9 years, 3 months ago

According to the USA Today report Blockstock attended the OSU and TTU home games as one of Ben's 4 allotted guests that Ben signed off on.

Micky Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

It wasn't in violation of NCAA rules for the AAU coach to be a guest, however.

Ardy Dehdasht 9 years, 3 months ago

If I was a Kentucky fan this would be everyday occurrence but for us ...

JakeBarnes 9 years, 3 months ago

Apparently, neither Bill Self or Cal had anything to do with this.

jakejayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

So even if it is all true

A) Ben knew nothing and gained nothing from the enticements B) KU knew nothing and had no way of knowing what was happening

My statements are valid only if any of this is true. Why would this guy "admit" to revenue he did not report (I assume) to the IRS? What is his motive in disclosing this and why now? Anyone smell a rat or rats?

At least Ben didn't drop several G's at a New York jewelry store. Oh wait, that would have been OK with the NCAA! Silly me!

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

It would have been okay if he was with Duke.

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

Depends on your definition of "trouble." KU's unlikely to get hit with a penalty beyond vacating wins, but if the streak of regular season titles means something to you, that's in jeopardy.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

Pepper_Bar..if correct, I would consider that as being in trouble, especially considering the 3 way race for most all-time victories.

UNC lost scholarships and one year of bowl eligibility after a player was known to have received $3400 in football but no loss of victories.

We all know what Reggie Bush cost USC. I know..different sports but the same rule was applied. KU and HCBS are known for running clean programs with the occasional hiccup. The most important part, as far as the University is concerned, seems to be Institutional control.

I think we will get a walk but after '88, nothing would surprise me.

Matt Bowers 9 years, 3 months ago

The kid came from such little means, is it a stretch to think that someone got to the family? This is unfortunate, but not uncommon. I hope that Ben comes out on the upside of all of this.

Rock Chalk

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

I hope KU comes out on the upside too. And by upside I mean not having to vacate victories or an entire season or be stripped of the Big 12 hardware we won. I can't bear the thought of K-Staters claiming to be the sole champion for 2013 if we had to vacate the title.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

With a nice little donation you can still be a Jayhawk even after death : )

Matt Bowers 9 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Robert Brock 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the family could make restitution...

Matt Bowers 9 years, 3 months ago

How about practice what it preaches, for starters! Our is that too simple for you? The NCAA makes billions a year in cash off of these athletes. The NCAA promotes them, gets their name out there through college, and then at the end of their college careers exploits them again through the very media that I'm using.

Don't come at me with your holier than though capitalist bull-chit. Seen what it has done my entire life. You use politics and a free-market to make money off of other peoples backs.

What the NCAA should do is disband and fall my opinion. My opinion is based on athletes and students, not dollar bills.

Rock Chalk

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

Does not sound good at all. Hopefully the NCAA won't take the stand that KU "should have known" that this guy was a snuggler to the family. Also sounds like his AAU coach may be selling his story to USAToday for more personal financial gain. Maybe he got cut out of the pic & is grinding the axe to feather the nest? Stay tuned, there will be much, much more.....

Boouk 9 years, 3 months ago

I hope this and the marujana deal from the 2010/11 team don't hurt us on the recruiting trail.

Kent Wells 9 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jeffrey Nelson 9 years, 3 months ago

They're very sensitive. Don't ever question Keegan's writing ability either.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

If all you have to to bring to the table is to voice negative opinions on any of LJW's staff then maybe you should skip the article.

kellerman411 9 years, 3 months ago

THIS IS NOT GOOD. Haters are going to climb out of the wood work.

Micky Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

You loathe yourself. You can't like anyone else until you end that.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

They already are. See "The_Big_Bee" and "UK-ALL-DAY".

Boouk 9 years, 3 months ago

Ben will still go in the top 3. I don't think this will be a big deal 1 month from now.

Adam Evans 9 years, 3 months ago

not a big deal for Ben. Huge deal for KU. Any money received by the family, even without Ben's knowledge, removes his amateur status and makes him ineligible. First trip to LA was in January. Most likely, (hopefully not, keeping my fingers crossed) KU will have to vacate all wins after that point that Ben played in. Which will remove our conference championship ending our streak, vacate 15+ wins, which in turn puts us back in third place on the all time wins list. I don't see a post season ban as KU was not at fault. But, even unknowingly, if a university plays an ineligible player (regardless of reason) they must vacate those wins. Not very happy about this.

Ryan Mullen 9 years, 3 months ago

Doesn't sound like that big of a deal to me. Mclemore had nothing to do with this. He had no knowledge and cannot be held responsible.

dylans 9 years, 3 months ago

Should not and cannot are two different things. McLemore won't pay the consequences KU will.

Adam Evans 9 years, 3 months ago

doesn't matter if he knew or not. the moment a family member takes any gifts, it affects the amateur status of the player.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

Accept that Ben signed off the KU forms on the guy sitting with his family.Ben very well might have known little about who the guy is, but ...

Steve Reigle 9 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm, how does this compare to the Duke player's $100,000 jewelry purchase while playing for Duke? And to North Carolina's academic fraud fiasco? The NCAA declined to penalize either school. Let's see what they do with this one.

chriz 9 years, 3 months ago

And the purpose of all this was to steer him to go to the NBA? Was that really necessary?

Adam Evans 9 years, 3 months ago

That's what I said. He was gone anyway. We all knew it before the season started. There's something else going on. He said he "wanted to be the fall guy" but ratted everyone else out? Something fishy is going on.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

No, it was to steer him to specific representatives, i.e. agents, managers, etc.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

Wonder how much the ones he signed with paid him? Cha-Ching!

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

When I read the entire article in USA Today, the first thing that came to mind was why is this guy documenting everything with receipts and photos? Isn't the usual procedure to leave no trace of the benefits received? It sure sounded to me like he was preparing this documentation to force Ben to sign with the agent or get the documents made public.
The information is now all over the internet at all the major publications including ESPN:
It is said that there are many reason why the police would show at your home in the middle of the night and most of them are bad. I am afraid that this is like that and it is not going to end up well. There is nothing that the NCAA can do to Ben any more since he will be gone in 4 days, and if there are consequences, KU will likely be on the receiving end.
With all the information out there, don't families know better?

Adam Evans 9 years, 3 months ago

When millions of dollars are being tossed around (counting NBA salary), do families really care? Not always.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

When families are as impoverished as Ben's is/was, the only thing that matters in that moment is survival. NCAA rules are meaningless to them. NCAA rules aren't going to help them pay the bills or put food in their stomachs.

archercc 9 years, 3 months ago

They dont care. Its not going to cost them anything. The coach got cash, the cousin got some free trips (and was probably promised cash) even though they failed to get him to sign with this agent. Even if momma was given a house and a Rolls for Christmas it wouldnt have hurt the family one bit as long as Ben wasnt injured and forced to stay. They get free stuff and know he is leaving anyway.

Its only the school that gets screwed.

kellerman411 9 years, 3 months ago

Goodbye Wiggins. This was just the talking point that Cheatipari needed with Andrew's parents to seal the deal.

Adam Evans 9 years, 3 months ago

said almost the exact same thing to my dad a few hours ago when the story broke on bleacher report.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

What talking point is that? I will show you how you do it so you don't get caught? LOL.

Joe Joseph 9 years, 3 months ago

Here comes more reason to hate the NCAA.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

Is pretty petty when you get flagged for calling out a misery troll with NO, and I repeat, NO PROFANITY! Just sayin....

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

Some body fill me in...A former coach and cousin of a player took money and trips. How does that effect the player and school? Are players and schools supposed to police past coaches and distant relatives?

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe not, maybe, but Ben did sign off on the guy sitting with his family. Even if Ben didn't know better, it shouldn't take a lot of sluething for the compliance office to figure out that the guy is related to a sports agent.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

Agree ahpersecoachingexperience. At most his cousin, not a direct family member although close, had a good time in LA. Cam Newton's dad was PAID $120,000 to $180,000 and no penalties incurred because it was without Cam's knowledge. Unless there is a LOT more to this story, I'm sticking w/non-story.

Greg Ledom 9 years, 3 months ago

Mikey, aren't we supposed to ask you? I mean after all, ask Mikey, he knows. But seriously Mikey, are you really asking those on this site as to what will happen? Who the F knows! Now back to football!

Miguel Colón 9 years, 3 months ago

Hey Model, it's give it to Mikey he likes it, not he knows! I am asking for people's opinion and insight.

otaKU 9 years, 3 months ago

Family members taking money costs a player their eligibility status is a bit ridiculous. I guess I understand why it probably came about but it seems harsh to punish an athlete for the actions of someone else.

Erin Troyer 9 years, 3 months ago

But the athlete is not being punished here. The unwitting institution and coach who decided they needed to swim in OAD waters are getting punished. Just one more reason that the one and done rule needs to be put out of our misery.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

Except schools and coaches were getting punished for cheating long before one-and-dones were the norm in college hoops.

KUFan90 9 years, 3 months ago

Got to side with Ahperse on this one. How can a school be held accountable for ensuring all their player's former AAU coaches never accept payments? Hire private investigators to watch them 24/7 and then sit the player if they observe him taking money?

Ridiculous. Nothing will come of this. We aren't vacating wins so just take a deep breath and calm down.

Brad Farha 9 years, 3 months ago

@KUFan90 -- I hope you are right. I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of all this.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Prior to arriving at Ku, this is while at Ku.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 3 months ago

Jackson received money during the summer between seasons while he was spending time at home.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 3 months ago

Well, time to find out if the SEC rules work for us. Since BMac "didn't know" what was up, he was never ineligible. Can we just call it the Scam Newton Rule?

And yes, riverdrifter, the AAU is a septic tank. But isn't high school basketball pretty much that same septic tank? Look how many of these kids go to "so and so" Academy four states away from their hometown. It's garbage.

RSwansonhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

<p> headline for this story "McClemore`s AAU Coach Claims He Took Cash to Steer Star to Kansas"

Not exactly....

Spencer Goff 9 years, 3 months ago

I just read it over on ESPN, and it sounds like a joke. I'll be surprised if anything comes of this. If everybody just keeps their mouth shut there is nothing to prove. Worst case scenario, BMac got paid to enter the draft... which is the very essence of entering the draft.

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

You should read the USA Today story, not the inaccurate ESPN blurb on the USA Today story.

eric poncharello 9 years, 3 months ago

A relative from the project's and his AAU coach a bad combination, just taking advantage of the situation and making some fast money, in many cases is a way of life for some. KU is going to get smoked!

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 3 months ago

you should have put all of the $100s on top when you took that picture ;)

kay_you 9 years, 3 months ago

A little smoke but no fire. Unless there are additional developments I don't see how Ben or KU can be implicated in something his AAU coach did.

Erin Troyer 9 years, 3 months ago

It doesn't matter if KU can be implicated. A family member of McLemore's(the cousin) took money(two trips to LA which can be construed as "money") from the AAU coach, which makes Ben ineligible. KU played an ineligible player from that point on. Doesn't matter whether they knew it or not.

Stephan123 9 years, 3 months ago

NCCA's investigative and enforcement capabilities have been shown to be suspect recently. The NCAA has become inept and KU, if they should be held unfairly accountable for the actions of some dimwit from St. Louis, should sue the NCCA and scare them away. Miami, Duke, Cam Newton, North Carolina....all examples of the NCAA's recent incompetence.

RJ King 9 years, 3 months ago

Welcome to the site bee-troll. I see you signed up today.

Gerry Butler 9 years, 3 months ago

oh B B your comments are so inspiritional, so much knowlewdge, so much wisdom, you truly inspire me, where does your intellegence come from? i know your not tryin to say Coach Self is like the glamorous John my cheat my a-- off Cal off from K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y now are you?

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

I have no idea what school you're a fan of, nor do I care. All I know is that you are an ignorant hater with no life and nothing better to do than troll another team's page.

Brian Skelly 9 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who thinks KU is going to get off scott free with this is high. We may not get the hammer, but it's hard to envision a scenario where we dont get hit... slapped or smashed.

I dont believe we're going to get hammered -- if what that USA Today article says is 'factual' (great story by the way, kudos to that writer for good investigative reporting) -- my guess we'll get slapped. What that means... who knows.

BMac's stink is going to hit KU though, make no mistake about it. The irony is he'll be set for life in a few months. The rest of this will just be noise.

dylans 9 years, 3 months ago

I would give up a scholarship for next season.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 3 months ago

Usually, you self impose sanctions and void all your wins from 2012-13 so the NCAA does not slap you with a postseason ban in 2013-14. But KU might roll the dice to keep the BIG 12 champion streak alive.

Joseph Bullock 9 years, 3 months ago

first of all, I agree with whoever said the AAU Coach was cut out of Ben's circle, and he probably planned all of this to try to black mail them into keeping him in. second, Ben having his AAU Coach on his ticket list means absolutely nothing! that is completely normal. also, K.U. most likely "WILL NOT" be penalized heavily, or have to forfeit any games because of something Bens AAU Coach did on his own, and if Ben knew nothing abut it, or if no one can prove he knew nothing about it, then nothing at all will happen to K.U. the same goes for his cousin, who I don't believe is a really close relative, but it still most likely won't matter, if Ben had nothing to do with it. to penalize a school these days, the NCAA has to be very, very, careful, as they are, and always have been liable, in lawsuits: see Tark the Shark. the AAU Coach is a jerk, and is still trying to get a payoff, to keep Ben and K.U. out of the trouble he started. he will probably get that, from Ben's family, just so this will go away, and not be a bad mark on him. what a scum bag!

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

"AAU Coach on his ticket list means absolutely nothing! that is completely normal."

You are mistaken on the facts. It's not that his AAU coach was given tickets that is the big deal; it's that Blackstock, the founder of the "sports mentoring organization" who PAID the AAU coach received tickets from Ben. That greatly complicates the entire situation.

"the AAU Coach... is still trying to get a payoff, to keep Ben and K.U. out of the trouble he started. he will probably get that, from Ben's family, just so this will go away, and not be a bad mark on him."

This makes little sense. First, Ben and his family will have absolutely no negative consequences from this other than from a PR standpoint. But with all the professional athletes out there who have been shown to have accepted money, any negative publicity will have basically no effect on BMac's career. Secondly, if what you say is correct (AAU coach looking to blackmail the family), why in world would they pay him money now that he already came out with this information? It's not just going to magically go away. You can't unring that bell. If anything, releasing this information would push him further away from the family. Finally, releasing this info is not going to get"KU out of the trouble he started." Releasing this information may very well bring serious sanctions against the university. No one else can or will receive punishment, as the NCAA has no control over agents, AAU coaches, NBA players or their families. Only KU would be in the NCAA cross hairs.

I do agree that the AAU coach releasing this information seems very fishy, but the conclusions you seem to have come to stray a bit off the logical path, IMO.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Meant to say the NCAA has no AUTHORITY over agents, AAU coaches, NBA players or their families, not control. Arguably, the NCAA doesn't even have control of those they do have authority over. Or even of themselves.

ajhk 9 years, 3 months ago Cobb counts his much larger bundle from the anonymous Kensucky geezer. He scoffs, "Ten thousand!?! Ha! They thought they could get me for ten thousand!" "I told them more or else...!"
-NOW- I'm rolling!

Looks like Darius Cobb double f'd his student-buddy McClemore.

Gerry Butler 9 years, 3 months ago

doesn't look good , no wonder the universities have to have lawyers just to be able to try interrpet sorry about the spelling, not one of my strong suites, but anyways heard they have attorneysjust to try to help out on ncaa rules, but anyways whether thats true or not, if the NCAA wants to they could penalize EVERY college for something their rules are so petty some are anyways, if i remember right we got into some troube yrs back when we helped a player for us at the time fly home for a family funeral incredible. i agree with some of the other fans though i'm afraid we very well could be made to forefit the wins with ben last year, and like a couple of others stated so much for wiggins but thats a whole different story. the big problem i think where we could be in trouble is where ben signed off on the tickets for these games for this slime to the NCAA i feel thats probably a sign to them that he did know about this. but for the individual that made the statement calling Coach Self Quote un Quote Bill Cal uh OK Really? ARE YOU SERIOUS? i don't think so, not even close there bubba doo, let me have some of the crap you've been smokin lol. and a last thing like another post said look out for all the haters coming out the woodwork now

BringBackMark 9 years, 3 months ago

Love Ben to death but here's the bottom line: Now that we've experienced the one-and-done syndrome 3 or 4 times it appears there's way more drama surrounding them than bang that we get from them. Maybe Calipari is just better suited to win with them but why waste resources chasing them when you can have Releford's and Withey's in the program for 4 or 5 years? It make no sense to me.

There will always be Sleeze Balls following these kids. So now not only do we have the investment in a one year player but we've also got to invest in additional policing to make sure the slime doesn't infiltrate the program. Good Luck with that!

dylans 9 years, 3 months ago

Except for one thing, the championship in 2008 was one by 3 potential OADs. Mario, Brandon, and Arthur all could've been OADs. Mclemore was ranked lower than quite a few 3-4 year players for KU (i.e. EJ). If a guy leaves after one season it indicates untapped potential, hype, and productivity. Roy is really good at stifling the hype and getting players to stay an extra season, but in this day and age that just means 2 years instead of3-4.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't disagree with your general point, but I'm not sure I would include Mario in that list. I don't believe he was ever really an OAD possibility. Even after his junior season with a fantastic college career of being one of the best defensive guards in the country, hitting one of the biggest shots in NCAA history, an NCAA title and the tourney MOP under his belt, he STILL was a second round draft choice. He's a very good guard in the league (as we all knew he would be), but I don't think OAD was ever a realistic possibility.

Everything else I agree with, though.

dylans 9 years, 3 months ago

OK, but I was just going by Mario's ranking, not the reality of the situation.

Gerry Butler 9 years, 3 months ago

ok. now i know this is some what of a remote possibility, and sorry if this sounds really dumm BUT just crossed my mind, so just play out this worst case scenario with me, not even sure it could happen but could this have a possible ripple effect with our future incoming players that have signed letters of intent? i mean i know chances are very slim BUT what if say like if it had been a tough close decision for like sheldon, or brennen between us and another school? could they say oh no and decide to opt out of their decision to come to ku? could they is it possible they end up deciding to transfer to that other school that was in on them? i realize they would probably have to sit out a year but just wondering, yes i'm sure chances are slim but if that happened definetely not good, they could look at it like hey there is always a chance that the hawks may not be able to play in next years ncaa tourney very remote but a chance so you know how teenage kids mind wonder how easily they can be persuaded by friends, family they may be hearing hey man if ku can't play in tourney thats messin with your exposure your chance to be seen to show your talents, won't have the chance to improve your stock for the future cause you won't get to play against the better players because you will be sittin at home barred from the tourney, thats messing with your future man they could be hearing this stuff from others you know? i know its very slim just saying neve say never hope not, but anyways would that be possible from them to do that? thanks guys. GO HAWKS

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

If Ku allows them to opt out of their LOIs which would be a possibility...they would not have to sit out a year since they haven't played or practiced. Morris twins are an example.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

With the information known, there is absolutely no chance this would cause us to be ineligible to play in the tourney next year or any year going forward. There is a chance of vacated wins, and that would be a worst case scenario. It won't have an effect on any of our current recruits at all. It could, of course, effect Wiggins decision, but I'm fairly convinced he's not headed to KU anyway (and I also don't think he gives a flying crap about whether or not BMac's AAU coach took money... I highly doubt it would cause him to sway whatever decision he makes).

So, take a breath. We will still be the same team next year. The real worst case scenario is we lose the conference title streak and drop to 3rd in all-time wins due to vacated victories. And there is the potential of it being harder to convince recruits to come, but I really think that fear is being overblown quite a bit by many on here.

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 3 months ago

What confuses me, it became known by December that McLemore was leaving. Thus, why is someone paying out dough to persuade Ben to leave? Strange situation and again, if this article is factual, this illustrates how kids can be so vulnerable to unsavory elements!

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Again, it wasn't to convince him to leave. It was to steer him to specific representation. Agents make a 10% commission. BMac's starting salary will make any agent that represents him roughly $450,000 for the first year (and on and on). Plus, any advisers (i.e. a financial planner) are looking to gain a new client as well. It's all about potential $$. For everyone.

okjhok 9 years, 3 months ago

Where the hell was the compliance office? The clothes and food I can understand, but how does a rep end up using ben's tickets in the fieldhouse? No excuses for that.

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

This was the same question I had. News like this is basically the reason compliance offices exist.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

...or big birthday party at bowling alley IN LAWRENCE!!!

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

As globaljaybird says, stay tuned. There will be much, much more to this story. And all the while, Bill Self trudges along the recruiting trail attempting to fill current and future scholarship slots while all this new mayhem swirls around his program. Definitely not good news for Kansas Basketball. NCAA investigations often sputter and fart along like Model A Fords navigating mountain switchbacks.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

Dad's kept his 1929 Model A running darn good-drove it till the late 50's. Was the Phaeton Sedan with spoke wheels, suicide doors, window shades, radio-the works. When about 4 yrs old, I tried to put the crank on the shaft with the motor running...major, major mistake! Ahhhhhh, to be young & stupid-sometimes you get away with it & sometimes you answer the consequences. Ben's line should be goo, goo-so don't muff it.

John Randall 9 years, 3 months ago

Are you aware that Model T Fords were earlier and much better examples of your "sputter and fart" analogy?

Since the analogy is for NCAA investigations, your aim is a little bit off – as would be anything above the crotch (or below the hip).

Any non-cretin would be better satisfied by my top-of-the-head bias than by a typical NCAA finding – unless, that is, inbreds from MO and KY have recently been classified lower than cretins on the intelligence scale.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

All of a sudden, the " boring " baseball glove story from a couple of days ago looks pretty good....

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking the exact same thing. Just when you think you don't want to be bored, you want to be bored again.

jhasseartcile96 9 years, 3 months ago

This is a non-issue, school did nothing wrong, McLemore is at worse naive about who maybe 1 person was. At the end of the day, an AAU coach he has probably not played for in 3 years and a cousin (who knows how close they are) are the ones involved. As for the birthday party, let's just say family and his teammates were there, and maybe a few others, you think his first thought is did an agent pay for this, shoot everyone puts in $40-50 each and that $500 bill is taken care of, the agents are the slimeballs here.

Tom Gillaspie 9 years, 3 months ago

And the real story should be --------- every college player (esp. from a family with limited means) with the potential to be a lottery pick has this type of activity going on in the background. Somehow, the AAU circuit (propped up by shoe company money) needs to be regulated if they are going to continue to have so much influence on future college athletes.
This is going to leave KU with a black eye - no matter the result. The irony is that most Div. 1 schools legitimately sport the same black eye. That is the name of the game in its current form.

JayHok 9 years, 3 months ago

Blackstock is trying hard to become like WWW. Not sure how connected he is to UK's players but he's been trying for years to become connected to Calipari. This very well could be a way for Blackstock to gain favor with Calipari to punch out a bad headline. Cobb appears to have taken the money but the question is the origin of the money. Is it from Calipari, WWW, or from Blackstock's own HARD EARNED bank account. We've been set up.

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 3 months ago

Cobb ACCEPTED money from an agent, it wasn't forced on him. As for the tickets and dinners in Lawrence, Cobb should have kept his mouth shut!

There's nothing worse than a fool clearing his guilty conscience by throwing others under the bus. I saw how Tony Soprano dealt with this type of behavior. Mr. Cobb should be thankful this is college basketball and not "waste management!"

Danny Hernandez 9 years, 3 months ago

Whew, at first I thought it was something Ben or Kansas did! Nothing here but fodder for ppl to discuss.

I'm sure this stuff is done all the time with agents trying to get their foot in the door to represent players. OF course, they're going to wine and dine anyone close to said player.
Ben did nothing wrong nor did his immediate family. What's the difference with UCLA hiring a former AAU coach, paying him a $150K annually, and all of a sudden his former player signs with UCLA?

Now back to whatever it was I was doing this morning....oh yeah, a beautiful day in NYC.

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

This is no big deal for Ben, but a potentially bad situation for KU's record book, since Ben's eligibility disappears as soon as a family member receives an unallowable gift. That could, theoretically, force KU to vacate wins and its conference titles from 2012-13.

But it's all still just rumor for now. Enjoy the beautiful day.

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

I respect your passion, but that statement is a bit of a stretch.

seagull 9 years, 3 months ago

George Dohrmann has written a very readable book chronicling the AAU cesspool--Play Their Hearts Out. The NCAA is partially responsible. They use players like Ben, who come from such little means, to make money (who would pay attention to March Madness without such players) and then let them make NO personal money while in college, don't let anyone help their families get to games, etc. On the other hand, when one reads the personal stories of players like Ben, don't you have to wonder every time a family member is somehow able to travel to Lawrence to see a game? As fans, we prefer to simply not ask the questions. It would seem more honest for the NCAA to allow the colleges themselves to provide some travel assistance for families of incomes below a certain level. The whole system stinks, but then....when can I pick my seats for next year?

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

Considering the multiple compliance seminars Ben would have sat through during his time at KU, it seems unlikely to me that he was totally unaware of the possibility Blackstock could be bad news. But I suppose it's possible. Time will tell.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

If I understand correctly...this AAU coach was paid to sway Ben to the NBA and presumably Toa specific agent that Ben had attending games from an allotment of tickets he is able to give freely (but not sale). Than the AAU coach doesn't deliver and people are upset. If Ben has apparently chosen a different agent, what matters?

Cousin...this will be one interesting family tree to tie this back to a family member, which if I understand correctly, is the only thing that puts ben's amateur status in question.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

kD .. I'm not sure I agree here. I wish I did. It's about an ineligible player. Not whether KU or Ben benefited.

But on the benefit, did Ben, by his mom sending Cobb to LA to meet with a potential agent/financial advisor contact, benefit? Where the intermediary, Cobb (and cousin Boyd), both got free rooms and accommodations? And then Cobb got cash?

Whether Ben accepted the representation, or declined it, the "investigation of representation" standing alone was of benefit to Ben. And it appears his mom .. his closest relative .. directed it.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 3 months ago

wow, this story really stinks. as alluded to above, KU always gets the worst of the punishments....we always get nailed for the petty stuff. and this is pretty petty. :)

a player at Kansas, being pursued for representation as a future pro (probably a conclusion you could have drawn easily) and a third party gets indirectly involved thru an AAU coach and old family friend.

in my mind, the key is the bday party. if the family didn't pay for it, then his status is compromised. however, unless the NCAA can get credit card receipts, i would think they couldn't prove it. we have the word right now of a former coach.....WHY does he talk now? if this was during the season, he could have been held out, until we figure it out.....and then it's time served, so to speak. but now, it will be about vacating wins and, therefore titles.

and the cousin? he denies going to L.A. fairly easy to prove i would think. did he get on a plane or not? did he stay at a hotel or not?

again, one statement, from some rogue coach, who believes he screwed up, and needs to vindicate himself. this guy Blackstock, isn't even an agent.....he is setting up MEETINGS with agents. it's absurd. why would the family even acknowledge this guy during the season? this stuff can't wait? it's unbelievable....we get in soooooo much trouble with these kinds of folks.....why do we not control this? every person on a player's list, needs to be scrutinized and asked about....."who is this Blackstock guy?"

i don't know, it looks bad...and the KC media i know, will go crazy over it...i can't wait. :(

Brian Skelly 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with your frustration and angst, and even agree with what the real issue is.

However, there isnt anything here that warrants filing civil lawsuits against AAU coaches. All these rules have to do with the NCAA, which are largely irrelevant in the law of the land. If there's criminal liability with the moneies involved -- which at least from this first article cant be determined -- then my guess is folks well beyond the NCAA will deal with it.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

Here's how I see it:

1] Cobb is not a "coach" under the rule. He would have to be a "friend." Cobb is actually a former coach. Self is his coach. The "coach" part will operate in situations prior to starting college. But Cobb is definitely a friend. His mom is definitely family. Boyd is likely family (who knows what type of cousin he is), but Boyd would certainly be a "friend."

2] First concern - Birthday Party: Am I the only one most concerned about the payment for the birthday party at th bowling alley? It was $400 or $500 paid by Blackstock. McLemore, or his mom, should have known who was paying for that, right? Someone had to pay, and it obviously wasn't Ben or his mom. mvjayhawk mentioned this above.

3] Second concern - Free Hotel and Accommodations: Cobb taking the free hotel and accommodations is still big deal. Cobb went out there under the auspices of helping McLemore. His family (mom) knew about it. She knew the "cousin" was going on the trip. Surely one would know that neither Cobb, nor the "cousin", were paying for anything, right? Again, Ben's mom knew about the trips. Assuming this to be true, she had wanted no business deals agreed upon without a family member present? Not good.

4] Third concern - Cash Payments to Cobb: While, at first, this didn't bother me as much as the first two, because neither Ben nor his mom apparently knew about the exchange of the money, it should be very concerning. If Ben's mom sent Cobb out to LA as reported, it is a huge problem even if they didn't know the payment. Cobb is a friend, and is acting on behalf of Ben's mom. Even if Ben did not know about the actual payment, this is the closest family member possible and Cobb was on a mission for her.

5] Best part so far: The best part (so far) is that it is wrongdoing totally without the knowledge of KU, Self, or his staff. While it may cause us pain, we can take heart in the fact that Self and his staff weren't part of it.

6] But there is a big concern for Self: The other concern is that information may come out that KU, Self, or the staff ignored "warning signs" as to what might be going on. Particularly regarding a potential NBA star. This may be the biggest issue when it comes to a "penalty." Tickets left for Blackstock may be that "warning sign." Tickets left for a former AAU coach would not be that. Ex-coaches get tickets from players pretty regularly. So that's where this could lead. As a university, wouldn't you completely scrutinize, ask questions, and stay on top of who tickets are left for? Blackstock would be a red flag to me -- a warning sign. That's my concern here.

The fact is, if this story is true (and we may not like it), Ben is probably ineligible for a number of games this season based on the NCAA rules. Forget that we don't like the NCAA. That's irrelevant. Forget that players should get stipends. Forget that the whole system is corrupt. We waste our time lamenting what is obvious.

Be prepared.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

2 & #6 are quite valid concerns. The NCAA may say that the university should have stayed on top of these contacts & connections & therefore "should have been aware" because of Ben's high potential draft status. Whatever they want to do, the NCAA usually just does it.

kranny 9 years, 3 months ago

Take the slime bag agent's license away from him for 3 years and ban him from college athletic situations. These agents know the rules and purposely defy them. Futhermore, aren't parents and families supposed to go thru an educating process regarding ncaa rules and policies? Frickin stay away from agents during college careers!! Makes no sense.

Brian Skelly 9 years, 3 months ago

The irony to me is the issue that could end up 'sticking' to KU is the Birthday Party. Which criminally is irrelevant. There certainly appears to be NCAA problems with this one which is pretty clear cut. The other stuff is of issue, but it appears that the only thing the NCAA can do with the rest of this is give the scarlet letter to the agent-to-be and use harsh language and send scary lawyer letters to him. Maybe the NBA can ding him and no allow him to be a certifiable agent in the league.

I think KU is going to get dinged in this for sure though. Maybe not nailed, but I dont think we can assume that wont happen either.

When you recruit a kid to your school you get everyone and everything involved with that kid. For better or worse. It appears the chaff from BMac it will be the worse.

gchawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Obviously, all we have right now is purely conjecture, but I can't help but think that there might just be a little conspiracy going on with this fiasco. As Tommy Boy said when he sat on the bench which immediately collapsed: "Could of done without that".

kay_you 9 years, 3 months ago

Used to be a school would get in trouble for trying to lure a player to your program. Now you get nailed for trying to lure a player away.

ku_foaf 9 years, 3 months ago

Definitely has the sound of a disgruntled crooked AAU coach who must have missed out on more money promised by an agent if he "delivered" Ben to him. Not satisfied with $10K for sleaziness. Incredible how low people will sink. Remember Marlon Piggee?

gchawk 9 years, 3 months ago

The problem when they delete post is the other post get moved up to where it appears that we're responding to someone other than the intended recipient. Hope you knew that ku_foaf, but am glad they removed that Kentucky troll.

kay_you 9 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gchawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Glass houses pal, glass houses. I love how the trolls from the most questionable "houses" rear their heads in situations like this. You, nor I, even know any of the logistics concerning this situation, but you're so ready to automatically jump to worst conclusions. I'd suggest you make sure your side of the street is clean before you concern yourself with ours.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

As a Kensucky fan, you are the last person in the world with any business taunting fans of any other school for cheating.

Death penalty in 1952-53 for point shaving and paying players Illegal payments to players under Joe B. Hall The scandal with Eric Manuel and Chris Mills that got Kensucky banned from the 1990 and 1991 NCAA Tournaments and nearly got UK a SECOND death penalty All of Honest John's shady recruiting practices and stealing a 2012 national title.

gchawk 9 years, 3 months ago

You spewing your venomous remarks about KU are equal to Bernie Madoff talking about morality.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't believe you-prove it sucka! Can't do it? What? Don't believe it! Ha! Write on chump, write on, I dare ya!

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 3 months ago

UKALLDay has been owned ... and now you will be sold just like Calipari's wife. Let the truth be told that you have about as much room to talk as rosie o'donnell has room in her seat on the airplane. And why a Kentucky fan register to be on a KU sports website is beyond me. How long has it been since KU has missed the tourney? How many conference titles do we have? Game over you lose

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 3 months ago

What are you doing on if you a UK fan? Let's start there and then talk about who is and who isn't being classy ...

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 3 months ago

The right to Freedom doesn't exempt you from being classless. You're being classless with your actions which is exaclty why your post was deleted.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

About as classy as a UK twerp talking smack on a KU board immediately following a 1st round knockout in he N(ot) I(nvited)T(ournament). LOLOLOLOL!

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't think any coaching staff is perfect, and I don't think anyone that follows the KU recruiting and landing of recruits believes that any program is perfectly clean. KU has had its problems and some of the things that have gotten KU in trouble in the past ended up being changes in the rules shortly thereafter. The big one I'm thinking of is the 1989 post season ban.

The thing that makes most people complain about Calipari is the history that he brought with him to Kentucky. Nobody argues Kentucky is a Top 5 program. Calipari is one of a few coaches that has had a Final Four vacated, and he has accomplished that feat twice. At Kentucky there is a couple of examples out there that have made one of the Final Fours look questionable as well. Again I think sometimes these things get way over blown and ESPN is almost ruining the sport with things like OTL and other programs that are more TMZ then actually relying on facts.

You'll probably right that we get a little hypersensitive about KU and try to throw UK under the bus too often. The fact of the matter is, none of this is good for college basketball.

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 3 months ago

All agents and coaches are sketchy. Not one of them follows the rules "perfectly". It's all about who does and doesn't get caught. You're out of your mind if you think Bill Self is perfect or ever will be perfect. He's just good at not getting caught. Until some other idiot gets caught and will try to take him and BMac down with him. Unfortunately, Bill and Ben are just as guilty as this idiot Agent and AAU coach. We must all understand sports aren't just about winning, it's about politics and money. If you didn't have politics and money, then winning wouldn't matter. Hell, just playing the game wouldn't even matter. I pray we don't suffer from this, but I can't say that the penalty would not be deserved.

On a brighter note ... looking forward to football season! RCJH!

Calijhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

What strikes me is the total lack of consideration on the part Cobb as to the implications this has on the KU basketball program...whose environment, national exposure, and coaching expertise provided the vehicle to develop and nurture this kid. It shows how little control schools have over the outside interests.

Blackstone is slime. His foundation purports to educate vulnerable athletes as to 'bad seeds and influences', then proceeds to compromise a vulnerable athlete's eligibility by paying Cobb to steer Ben to an agent. This effectively puts and end to both his foundation and any aspirations he had of being an agent.

Want an exercise in absurdity? KU athletics is the only entity in the entire situation that followed every rule, dotted every 'i', crossed every 't', made every effort to do things the right way, and in the end, may be the only entity to suffer any negative consequences.

pepper_bar 9 years, 3 months ago

Last paragraph: If the USA Today story is accurate, it's doubtful the KUAC compliance office actually "made every effort" on this one.

Mike Mills 9 years, 3 months ago

I hope not but sounds like there is a possibility that Ben may have known something was up. If mom is having problems putting food on the table and then Uncle Rodney comes into the picture and things start getting better for the family financially. Definitely predatory on Uncle Rodney's part but is part of the game nowadays with these big time recruits that come from low income families. If you're starving and someone keeps offering you steak you can only say no so many times.

Unfortunate situation that is a result of this multi billion dollar basketball business which leaves the kids and school at times as the ones being hit the punishments.

Mike Mills 9 years, 3 months ago

Get rid of AAU?!?! Absolutely not happening and isn't the solution. A majority of the parties involved (NCAA, coaches, etc) do not want to do away with it. Regulate it more but not get rid of it. Where else can coaches evaluate top talent against other top talent in one location. Players can go their entire high school season with minimal schools recruiting them and then if they play AAU ball and they play well their recruitment explodes. Actually, if a kid is good enough they don't even have to play high school ball now. Unfortunate but is just the way it is. AAU/travel team ball isn't going anywhere. So there will be plenty of stories about coaches like Ben's in the future. I'd say though that these guys are in the minority.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 3 months ago

As much as we have blasted Frank Haith for his role in the Miami scandal and Honest John at UK, I hope that we can look at this situation without crimson-and-blue colored glasses. Do I want to see KU punished? No. Do I want to have to vacate the season or any victories or a conference title or the conference tournament title? No. But if this turns out to be true and B-Mac was ineligible, then I hope we won't get all nasty about whatever the NCAA does to us like the Penn State alums and trustees are being so belligerent toward the NCAA for penalizing their dirty football program.

Luca Rossi 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow, this USA Today story really makes my blood boil. I can't imagine how Ben feels. If I was him it would take all my energy to hold back from strangling this Cobb guy. What an awful person that guy is. How can he even sleep at night?

This story reeks strongly of some sort of secondary agenda on Cobb's part. His "reason" for releasing the story makes absolutely zero sense. I'm guessing he started building this case, saving receipts, making sure to take photos for proof, etc. fully intending to use it to benefit himself somehow. It could have been used to benefit himself in several possible ways:

  1. Tell Blackstock he will be exposed if those nice cash payments don't continue.
  2. Tell McLemore family Ben must sign with a the highest bidding agent to Cobb or he will squeal,
  3. Call up UK for a payoff to tell the story in order to bring down the competition regarding the Wiggins recruitment.

Could the timing be any more perfect to support possibility #3? There is no doubt in my mind that this Cobb guy has some sort of secondary agenda and is being compensated by someone to release the story. He is a slime ball and if I was Ben, you could guarantee I'd never speak to this a-hole ever again.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

A few weeks ago, Yates asked me how Calipari managed to sign so many of the five-star recruits. This story about Ben McLemore's AAU coach and and what I will call the wholesale agent suggest a hypothetical model for how it might happen.

Wholesale Agents apparently pay AAU coaches to recruit players and parents. The Wholesale Agents use the AAU coaches to bring the parents of players to a kind of convention operated as an educational conference for parents an mentors of players, where the parents can hear pitches from I will call retail agents. Retail agents pitch for the right to represent the player in negotiations with the NBA and with product endorsement. Retail agents deals probably vary considerably. Retail agents probably want their players playing where they can get the most Branding, I.e., in major media markets and with high-profile programs. The wholesale agent is probably in the sensitive business of managing the flow of monies from alumni contributors and other sources to the AAU coaches and parents. The System probably sets up plausible deniability for the player and for the head coach of the university program. A head coach working with a whole sale agent that can provide access to retail agents with the best terms of representation in the NBA and in endorsement contracts In a high profile program in an eastern time zone media market, and at a university with a history of being willing to incur violations in pursuit of the talent necessary to win rings would likely over time begin to corner the top talent In an environment where regulatory enforcement were waning.

At least that is the hypothesis that comes to my mind given the story.

But as usual, it is only a hypothesis.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

jb, in another thread someday I would like to read your hypothesis regarding Marcus Smart's decision to stay at Okie State and pass up the immediate millions as a top five 2013 lottery selection.

kay_you 9 years, 3 months ago

I’m surprised this sort of thing does not surface more often. These are young impressionable kids about to become millionaires and it stands to reason there will be unscrupulous people taking advantage of them with no concern about the consequences. This will only continue as the Blackstock’s of the world have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

kay_you 9 years, 3 months ago

I'll bet my house against his trailer he's a ksu or mu troll.

kay_you 9 years, 3 months ago

Two scenarios come to mind. One, he’s bitter towards Blackstock who is hoarding in on his territory. Two, he developed a conscience, probably after seeing how Blackstock has tried to exploit Ben.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 3 months ago

If the perpetrators are street wise at all they know that the "dimes will be dropped." Especially since they got no slice of the pie except for a little blackmail story money. Right slayer, would not want to be in their shoes-could get weighted down a bit.

Hammertoe 9 years, 3 months ago

If KU wants to compete at the highest level, they have no choice but to recruit "one and dones"... With these kids, come much bigger risks. I doubt if Ben is concerned the about the effects on the school or program (see Reggie Bush and USC) as his life is moving on to the fortunes of the NBA. I'm sure he never had an intentions of coming back. Think he even went to class the second semester? College Basketball has become a "dirty" sport even more so than football with the "one and done" rule.

kellerman411 9 years, 3 months ago

You fools, this story is not about Ben Mclemore. This story is about Andrew Wiggins. Take a moment to examine what possible motive that this coach and the media could have for breaking a story like this.

The truth is, KU has Wiggins, or at least we did have him. The writing was on the wall for Calipari. What makes me say that? Easy, It really makes no difference where he goes to school, we know it, his parents knows it and every NBA team knows it. However, if he comes to Kansas, his parents can watch big brother too. Every dog gone night. I'm not positive that this story will affect his decision but it could. It certainly shouldn't.

gchawk 9 years, 3 months ago

That is exactly what I was referring to earlier when I mentioned a possible conspiracy with this situation. I think there may be a little "politicin" going on, real dirty pool.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

Things about this story that bother me.
Anybody with brain would know that in this type of transactions the money is scrubbed clean so the is no breadcrumbs pointing to the money trail. Why did Cobb kept all the receipts, got the cousin involved and gathered photos to documents the trips? The only plausible explanation is that the had ulterior motives and was saving these documentation to force Ben to go to Blackstock or else he would disclose the information.
Next, I find it hard to believe Ben did not have a clue. If his mom was so pressed for money, how did she manage to take trips to Texas and Lawrence and have birthday party for him at a bowling alley. He surely should have asked how she was managing to do this in view of her dire financial situation. It seems to me that she and the cousin knew what was going on and did not seem concerned as to how it would affect Ben KU-wise as they knew he was going to be making a lot of money in the NBA in the near future. The other item is the birthday party. Here is a link to the bowling alley in Lawrence where the party took place:
A simple calculation would indicate that to rack a $400+ bill, there had to be close to 40 people at the party. It is extremely unlikely that he had that many relatives in town; my guess is half a dozen, which means there had to be a lot of local friends including many if not most of the player in the basketball team. If this is the case, where were the compliance officers from KU? It is hard to believe that a party of this size for the star of the team would go unnoticed to program personnel. I imagine that Coach Self ifs pretty p***ed off and I would not be surprised to see some heads roll.

DanR 9 years, 3 months ago

There was a story here in the LJW about the Bday party and the group of 30 friends and family he had at the Kstate game. (Link to it)

optimist 9 years, 3 months ago

The NBA has an obligation here and they are in a position to influence this issue. I'm not sure if there is any approval process for agents or not but the NBA should put in place a clearinghouse for agents that sanctions them in cases like this. There is some responsibility for them to look out for the young players and banning agents from representing NBA athletes in cases like these is appropriate. The NBA can prohibit teams from negotiating with banned agents thereby resulting in players dropping them in favor of agents in good standing. If the NBA were concerned about these kids they would act.

Calijhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

This is going to come down, one way or another, on Lori Williams, the Athletic Department's Director of Risk Management and Compliance.

Because I am in the Sports Risk Management field myself, my first interest was in the disclaimer at the top of the complementary pass signature list photocopied in the USA Today article. It protects KU against athletes receiving monetary compensation, but not against pass recipients who may have a present or future financial interest in the athletic skills of the student athlete. My guess is that this disclaimer is standard for NCAA institutions, which means that the NCAA may not consider a name on a pass list as a warning flag of agent contact. Someone in compliance had to have vetted Blackstock; because he is not an accredited NBA agent, nor is he an employee of one, KU probably had no real reason to suspect the level of involvement he was was developing, and, even if it did, had no real means of discerning it short of violating Blackstock's privacy.

Understand that Lori Williams was the Associate Director of Enforcement at the NCAA before she came to KU. Her reputation in the business is very, very good. The good news is that if anyone can navigate the enforcement machine of the NCAA, it would probably be her.

The bad news is that the facts are the facts...Cobb's behavior puts Ben's eligibility in question. However, those facts were not disclosed until AFTER Ben was no longer a part of the KU no opportunity to proactively rectify the situation. Also remember that the documents were supplied to the reporter under the Freedom of Information act about 2 weeks ago...they had to know something like this was coming. They have probably been working on this under the radar for about a week

Lori Williams competence will either keep KU out of any sanctions, or will become a source of her firing.

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