Former Kansas freshman Cliff Alexander opened up about his suspension from the Jayhawks late during his freshman year as he sat down with 120sports.com‘s Michael Kim.
The 6-foot-8 Alexander missed the team’s final eight games sitting out due to an NCAA investigation and he later declared for the 2015 NBA Draft after an up-and-down season. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a freshman.
“My mom got tricked into something, she didn’t know what she was doing and we needed money at the time,” Alexander told Kim.
When Kim followed up and asked if Alexander would have returned to Kansas for his sophomore season had the investigation not been going on, Alexander said he would have considered returning to school.
“I was thinking about staying. I was thinking about staying,” Alexander said. “Then when the incident went down, I felt like I was going to be ineligible for my sophomore season, so I made the choice to leave.”
While there had been previous reports of impermissible benefits surrounding Alexander, it sounds like he’s coming clean with the past and trying to move on from it with regards to his professional career.
Yahoo originally reported that Latillia Alexander, Cliff’s mother, filed a Uniform Commercial Code in the state of Illinois to a finance company that specializes in loans to professional agents and athletes in August 2014. The loan is meant for guaranteed first and second round picks in the NFL and NBA Drafts and usually get taken out after a player turns pro but before the player’s first contract.
“Mr. Alexander has been ready, willing, and able to be interviewed since March 2nd, yet he has been informed that the NCAA will not interview him until they receive additional documents that are not his documents, the content of which he has no knowledge, and documents which have never been in his control or possession,” the letter said.
The freshman had an up-and-down freshman season but is still a major loss for the Jayhawks off the bench. Alexander averaged 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Cliff Alexander’s attorney: He’s ‘ready, willing and able to be interviewed’ by the NCAA
On the same day that No. 9 Kansas kicked off Big 12 tournament play, the lawyer for freshman Cliff Alexander released a statement to multiple media outlets saying that his client his ready to meet with the NCAA to clear his name, but he’s been unable to lock down a time to be interviewed by the association.
“Mr. Alexander has completely and expeditiously complied with the NCAA’s requests,” the statement said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “Through his attorneys, Mr. Alexander has provided his telephone records, text records, and bank statements.”
“Mr. Alexander has been ready, willing, and able to be interviewed since March 2nd, yet he has been informed that the NCAA will not interview him until they receive additional documents that are not his documents, the content of which he has no knowledge, and documents which have never been in his control or possession.”
Thursday marked the fourth consecutive game that Alexander has missed for what Kansas termed an “NCAA issue”. According to a report from the weekend, a company specializing in loans to professional athletes and future draft picks was tied to his mother. Loans based on future earnings as an athlete are against NCAA rules and can cost a player his or her athletic eligibility.