Former Kansas Star Ben McLemore’s AAU Coach Paid to Sway Player
USA Today published an article on May 4th that puts Kansas Jayhawks Ben McLemore and many others in all sorts of precarious predicaments. According to the article, McLemore’s AAU coach, Darius Cobb, took $10,000 worth of cash from CEO of Hooplife Academy, Rodney Blackstock. The money, according to Cobb, was to “steer” McLemore to a particular agent.
Cobb also said that he as well as McLemore’s cousin, Richard Boyd, were paid to go on trips to “find agents”, but Boyd has denied taking any such trips. Cobb, on the other hand, says he has photos and proof that the trips were very real.
If McLemore were still in college, this would likely alter his status as an amateur athlete. Now that he is off to the wonderful world of the pros, Kansas is doing an internal investigation and that is about that for now.
As far as everything Cobb told USA Today, McLemore knew nothing about anything and it was only, mostly he who was doing the shady backdoor meetings. Cobb, however, also went on a mini-rant to the publication about “being the fall guy” and that he is okay about “being the crooked AAU coach.” I don’t know if he thinks that will come off as showing some valor or if he is delusional.
If Cobb was only out for his own financial gains, well, it really is a shame. Cobb really tried to come off as a guy who loved McLemore — which he possibly does — but handling thousands of dollars and never mentioning a bit of it to a player who comes from a poverty stricken background — something does not add up. Either Cobb used McLemore or he is not using full disclosure.
Not only will Kansas investigate, but surely the NCAA will join everyone else in trying to figure out the whole truth. All of this was done in January and February, when McLemore declared he would have an agent line-up. An agent, mind you, Blackstock preferred him to have I suppose.
According to everything out for the public to see as of now, McLemroe had no direct contact with Blackstock but did sign-off (with his signature) having him using complimentary tickets for a game.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone