As reported by Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA is investigating Texas point guard Myck Kabongo for the possible receipt of impermissible benefits.
Kabongo, who hails from Toronto, has been interviewed multiple times by the NCAA in regards to his summer workouts in Akron, Ohio with former Texas teammate and close friend Tristan Thompson.
One of the questions for Kabongo, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, is the relationship he has with sports agent Rich Paul.
Paul represents both Thompson and LeBron James, and according to Yahoo sources called NBA executives on behalf of Kabongo in the months leading up to the NBA Draft (this is legal).
“We’re aware of the situation,” Texas basketball media relations official Scott McConnell said according to both Yahoo! Sports and CBSSports.com. “But we have not heard any decisions from the NCAA.”
The NCAA would like to know how Kabongo paid for his expenses in Akron, hence the questions about his relationship with Paul.
Kabongo’s time in Akron according to the Yahoo report included a workout with professional trainer Jerry Powell.
Powell denied any wrongdoing on his part in interviews with both the NCAA and Yahoo.
“I told the NCAA my side of the story,” Powell told Yahoo! Sports. “I’m sure Myck told his side. I’m not trying to ruin nobody’s eligibility. It’s never been about anything but workouts with me. I’m a trainer. That’s all. I’m not aligned with anybody. I’m my own person. I don’t get caught up with any of that.”
An agent can have a relationship with a student-athlete and his family provided there’s no agreement on representation or promise of financial benefits, according to NCAA rules.
Finding that Paul or someone else handled Kabongo’s expenses would result in the sophomore having to be declared ineligible.
“At the end of the day, here’s the main thing, it’s no crime to have a relationship with the kid,” Paul told Yahoo! Sports. “Of course, I know Myck through Tristan and Cory. I haven’t been contacted by the NCAA and I wouldn’t put a kid in harm’s way. My time in Cleveland was getting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist prepared for the draft. I live in Cleveland.
“I would never disrespect anybody’s program. I love the game of basketball. I understand the business of basketball, but I’m about doing it the right way.”
So if this happens what would Rick Barnes do with the point guard position?
Even with Kabongo the Longhorns are young on the perimeter thanks to J’Covan Brown going pro and Sterling Gibbs’ decision to transfer to Seton Hall.
But if the preseason All-Big 12 selection has to sit Texas would be down to a pair of freshmen (Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland) and two sophomores (Julien Lewis and Sheldon McClellan) in their rotation.