AAU Coach Was Paid Thousands To Convince Ben McLemore To Enter Draft
A former AAU coach for Kansas guard Ben McLemore says he was paid thousands of dollars by prospective agents to convince McLemore to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.
Darius Cobb, a AAU coach based out of St. Louis, told USA TODAY Sports that he accepted two cash payments of $5,000 during the regular season from Rodney Blackstock, the founder and CEO of Hooplife Academy, a sports mentoring organization based in Greensboro, N.C.
Cobb said he received three all-expense paid trips to Los Angeles, and that Richard Boyd, a cousin of McLemore, traveled with him for meetings in January and February with sports agents and financial advisers.
Those said agents reportedly wanted to represent McLemore if he entered the draft. McLemore, declared for the NBA draft on April 9.
Cobb provided USA Today with travel itineraries and photos taken of he and Boyd on the trips. Boyd denied making the trips with Cobb.
“No, I did not (go to Los Angeles),” Boyd told USA TODAY Sports. “I don’t know anything about that. The rumors, that’s why I don’t want to do interviews because people misinterpret stuff. … There is too much confusion. Everyone is trying to control this and that.”
Such illegal payments could affect McLemore amateur status while he was at Kansas, and cause the university to possibly forfeit all wins he was apart of.