To end all speculation, an NCAA spokeswoman tweeted on Tuesday there are no eligibility issues surrounding Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba.
Questions arose in late June after his brother posted a video on Facebook alleging that Bamba took improper benefits from Greer Love, who has been a mentor to Bamba since fourth grade.
“After evaluating all available information, the NCAA determined the assistance Greer Love provides to Mohamed Bamba does not violate rules,” NCAA spokeswoman Emily James tweeted. “Bamba remains certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.”
The NCAA also issued a full ruling to Texas officials, which was later released to reporters. The NCAA determined that the “pattern of communication between (Bamba) and Mr. Love has been continuous and the benefits provided to (Bamba) have been consistent since the establishment of their relationship.
Bamba, projected as a top pick in the 2018 NBA draft, is the centerpiece of UT coach Shaka Smart’s 2017 recruiting class. A high-level Texas source told the Statesman that Smart was stunned at the brother’s video and allegations but knew them to be false. “We knew this was bull—-,” the source said.
“Further, any future benefits provided to (Bamba) by Mr. Love are permissible provided the pattern of such benefits remain consistent,” the NCAA ruling continued.
Also, the NCAA concluded there is “no evidence” that Love meets the definition of an agent.
Texas officials admitted there was concern when Bamba’s brother Ibrahim “Abe” Johnson posted a 22-minute, profanity-laced video on Facebook last month. In the video, Johnson claims he was “expose” Bamba for taking benefits that would conceivably ruin his amateur status.
However, school officials were already aware that Johnson was upset. One source said Johnson has tried to get money from Bamba and “been told no several times.” The video, UT officials believe, is Johnson’s response.
247Sports reported in June that Johnson had landed is serious legal trouble. He was charged with a hit-and-run in Florida; forgery, falsification, petty theft and possession of drugs in Ohio; possession of drugs in South Carolina, according to 247Sports.
“Doing things the right way has been our top priority since day one,” Love told 247Sports. “Mo’s got way too much to lose to take any chances on anything even remotely impermissible.”
In a statement released June 29, UT officials said, “The NCAA has not informed us any pending issues or eligibility concerns at this time regarding Mo. If there are further questions, we certainly will cooperate with the NCAA to the fullest.”
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FROM THE NCAA
The text below was written by NCAA officials and provided to UT, according to the school. All references to “SA” is the NCAA’s shorthand for student-athlete, which is a reference to Mohamed Bamba.
“Based on the information provided, the relationship between the SA and Mr. Love meets the 6/6/2000 pre-existing relationship test. In this case, the relationship between the SA and Mr. Love developed when the SA was in 4th grade through an after school mentoring program. Although the mentoring program had both an academic and athletics purpose, their relationship was not established based on the SA’s ability or reputation as an athlete. Further, the pattern of communication between the SA and Mr. Love has been continuous and the benefits provided to the SA have been consistent since the establishment of their relationship. In addition, Mr. Love has a consistent, established pattern of providing comparable benefits to other individuals (and family of individuals) who were also a part of the mentoring program and most of which are pursuing non-athletic career paths/opportunities. Therefore, based on the information provided, the benefits provided to the SA by Mr. Love are not in violation of NCAA amateurism rules. Further, any future benefits provided to the SA by Mr. Love are permissible provided the pattern of such benefits remain consistent. Finally, there is no evidence in the facts provided that Mr. Love meets the definition of an agent for purposes of NCAA rules.”