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Ben McLemore's AAU coach admits to taking money from agent

McLemore's amateur status would be violated if a report holds true of his AAU coach accepting more than $10,000 in cash benefits to pay for hotels, tickets and trips to Los Angeles.

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Ronald Martinez

The Kansas Jayhawks could be in some hot water following allegations that Ben McLemore's former AAU coach accepted money to help steer him to various sports agencies once he left KU. Eric Prisbell of USA Today first published the story on Saturday night.

Darius Cobb, the AAU coach in question, reportedly "received thousands of dollars in cash, lodging, meals and trips from a middle man who courted the Kansas player on behalf of sports agents and financial advisers during the 2012-13 college basketball season," according to Prisbell.

Cobb said he received $10,000 from Rodney Blackstock, who runs Hooplife Academy, in addition to three fully paid trips to Los Angeles. Cobb denied going on the trips to L.A., although he did acknowledge that he and Blackstock were close because of his ties and insider knowledge of how things work with NBA agents.

If the allegations of McLemore's former coach taking money prove true, it would jeopardize his amateur status with the Jayhawks. It's unclear how the NCAA will proceed with its investigation at this time since McLemore has already declared for the NBA.

Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger had this to say in a statement released Saturday:

"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. 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."

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