Arguably the two biggest stories of the college basketball offseason collided on Friday afternoon when The Big Lead broke the news that the NCAA was investigating a potential link between PJ Hairston and Rodney Blackstock.
Hairston, North Carolina’s leading scorer a season ago, was arrested earlier this month when he was pulled over in a rented SUV driving on a suspended license with 43 grams of weed in the car. A gun was found outside the car, but it is unclear who that gun belonged to. Blackstock, who is now a certified NBA agent, is the runner at center of the Ben McLemore scandal.
On Friday night, UNC AD Bubba Cunningham confirmed to the Raleigh News & Observer that the school is aware of connection and have been in touch with NCAA officials about the case.
“We’ve been aware of the McLemore-Blackstock case since May 4,” Cunningham told the paper. May 4th is the day that USA Today broke the story about the connection between Blackstock and McLemore. “And we’ve been doing research and finding as much information about that situation as we can to ensure that we don’t have any issues associated with that.”
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.
Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”
The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.
Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”
Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.
The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.
Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.