Darius Cobb, the St. Louis AAU coach who allegedly accepted $10,000 and trips to influence former KU guard Ben McLemore, is scheduled to meet with a representative of the NCAA’s enforcement staff on Wednesday, according to a USA Today report.
Cobb told USA Today that he will detail his knowledge of McLemore’s relationship with Rodney Blackstock, a middle man who made the payments to Cobb during this past basketball season.
Cobb said that representatives from the University of Kansas are expected to be present for his meeting with Elizabeth Ramsey, an NCAA director of enforcement. An official with the KU athletic department declined comment when asked about the meeting.
Cobb has said that he accepted two cash payments of $5,000 each from Blackstock, along with all-expense paid trips to Los Angeles to meet with agents and financial advisers, while Blackstock courted McLemore during the 2012-13 season.
Blackstock attended KU games as a guest of McLemore, appearing on the basketball program’s pass list on multiple occurrences. Cobb also alleged that Blackstock paid for McLemore’s birthday party at a Lawrence bowling alley during the season.
Kansas has a vetting system in place to monitor names that are on the men’s basketball pass list, according to a source close to the situation. And any background check on Blackstock would not have turned up any red flags.
But Cobb’s assertions are an NCAA violation under Bylaw 188.8.131.52, which states that athletes — and their friends and relatives — are prohibited from accepting transportation or other benefits from agents, or those acting in that capacity. Cobb also alleged that a cousin of McLemore, Richard Boyd, received free travel to meet with representatives in California. Those benefits could have potentially compromised McLemore’s amateur status while at Kansas. McLemore, who left KU after his redshirt freshman season and is expected to be a lottery pick in next week’s NBA Draft, is not required to speak to the NCAA.
Blackstock, the founder of a sports-mentoring organization in Greensboro, N.C, is now reportedly a certified agent, according to USA Today, and still advising McLemore.
“Rodney Blackstock has been great,” McLemore told reporters in Chicago at the NBA pre-draft combine.
“Since Day 1, since I met him, we have got that bond and communicating very well. And that is why I chose him to help me with this process.”
McLemore has said that he had no knowledge of Blackstock’s financial involvement in his basketball career.
McLemore has reportedly signed with Rivals Sports Group, a Beverly Hills firm that also represents former KU players Marcus and Markieff Morris.