LAWRENCE – Former Kansas forward Cliff Alexander has shed some light on the NCAA investigation that derailed his freshman season.
In an interview this week with 120Sports.com, Alexander said his mother, Latillia Alexander, “got tricked into something” when she received impermissible benefits that could have compromised Alexander’s amateur status. When the NCAA opened an investigation into the issue in February, Kansas decided to sideline Alexander, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago. He never played for Kansas again and opted to enter the NBA Draft after a tumultuous season.
“My mom got tricked into something she didn’t know what she was doing,” Alexander said, “and we needed money at the time.”
The investigation, in part, reportedly centered on a Florida-based financial firm that offers loans for professional athletes.
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Alexander said the NCAA issue has come up during interviews with NBA teams during the pre-draft process. For now, Alexander is working out in Chicago in preparation for the NBA Draft.
“They just basically want to know what happened, and that’s mainly it,” Alexander said of NBA teams. “They just want to know what really happened.”
Alexander also said he was thinking about staying at Kansas for another season, but the NCAA investigation made the decision easier.
“I was thinking about staying,” Alexander said. “Then when the incident went down, I felt like I was going to be ineligible for my sophomore season. So I made the choice to leave.”
In early April, when Alexander announced his decision to enter the NBA, Kansas coach Bill Self called Alexander’s college experience a “very interesting and educational year.”
“He worked his way into the starting lineup and has had to deal with an off-the-court issue with the NCAA that made him ineligible for the last eight games of our season,” Self said in a release. “We all feel bad for Cliff for what he and our team had to go through, because it was difficult for him to sit and watch his teammates play without him.
“During his time here, Cliff certainly got better. I loved coaching Cliff, but we support his decision 100 percent to move on and take his ability to the next level.”