clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Did UK dodge a bullet with Mohamed Bamba? (Updated)

A Facebook video from the five-star prospect’s brother alleges illegal benefits from booster.

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Portraits Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Andrew Slater from 247 Sports reports that the NCAA is already aware of the relationship between Mohamed Bamba and Greer Love. The bond between the two goes back further than Bamba’s brother led on, which would make gifts acceptable under the condition of Love being a longstanding relationship before Bamba was an elite prospect. Love founded a program, “Locke’s Lions,” to support the students of an elementary after-school program that he worked with in 2008. Johnson, who made the allegations, faces various criminal charges in multiple states. Love is not a booster of a university, despite the allegation from Johnson.

Kentucky fans were left surprised and upset whenever five-star big man Mohamed Bamba chose Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns.

That’s not quite as true now after Bamba’s older brother, Ibrahim Johnson, went into detail about a relationship between Mohamed and an outside influencer named Greer Love. He claims that Love supplied Bamba with gifts (TV, $200 a week, vacations, and others are mentioned specifically) in order to be in his inner-circle once he becomes a pro. He also states that Bamba “will not play college basketball this year” and that he has already reported him to the NCAA and will speak with them. He makes it clear in a comment to his video that no money came from the University of Texas. This is an important point, as this saves the school from repercussions, though not necessarily saving Bamba’s eligibility.

Note that there is some explicit language in Johnson’s video, which you can watch here.

At around the 17:30 mark of the video, he says that the NCAA contacted his brother and that Bamba told them Love does the same for other players, which would essentially be Bamba admitting to the allegation (of course, if his story is true).

Whether or not this is all true remains to be seen, but Johnson’s story is detailed and the alleged booster that he describes is exactly who he says he is. Greer Love is the Vice President of Huron Capital, a Michigan based venture capital and private equity organization.

Love is also a University of Michigan alum. It may just be a coincidence that Bamba, a consensus top 5 recruit, had the Wolverines on his final list. Regardless, it is an interesting detail in hindsight.

The NCAA will almost certainly look into the allegations, and for the first time Bamba’s eligibility is in question. Talking points in his recruitment often noted how thoughtful and “different” Bamba is, an adjective used to belabor the possibility of him spurning blue blood schools that were recruiting him like Kentucky and Duke. It should also be said that there is the possibility that Bamba’s brother is upset over being cut out from the “circle” and could be slandering him as a way to get back.

Though Calipari was not after any other big men that Bamba’s recruitment would have affected, missing on Bamba will be a small victory if the allegations lead to NCAA ineligibility.

In the end, you just hope this is story is false and Bamba is cleared to play college hoops. He’s a special player bound for great things.