Texas responds to allegations from brother of prized recruit Mohamed Bamba

Mohamed Bamba chose Texas over Duke, Kentucky and Michigan. (AP)

Texas responded swiftly to a social media post from Mohamed Bamba’s brother alleging that the school’s prized basketball signee had accepted cash and gifts from a financial adviser.

The university issued a statement to Yahoo Sports late Wednesday night acknowledging it was aware of the allegations while also noting it had not yet been contacted by the NCAA about any potential eligibility issues regarding Bamba.

“As is usual practice by the NCAA, Mo’s amateur status was previously reviewed and final certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center,” the statement from Texas read. “The NCAA has not informed us of 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.”

In a rambling, profanity-laden 22-minute Facebook Live video filmed poolside, Ibrahim Johnson detailed the alleged relationship between his younger brother and financial adviser Greer Love. Shirtless and wearing a backward baseball cap, Johnson accused Love of violating NCAA rules by supplying Bamba with money, vacations and other extra benefits and steering him toward certain schools in hopes of working with the 6-foot-11 center in the future.

Johnson said Love caused a rift to form between him and his younger brother after he disclosed that he intended to become a sports agent and represent Bamba. Going public with these accusations was apparently Johnson’s way of getting revenge on Bamba for siding with Greer instead of him.

“He’s not going to play this year in the NCAA because I already reported him to the NCAA and I’m already going to meet with the NCAA,” said Johnson, a former basketball player at Division II University of Montevallo. “He’s not going to play this year. I’m not going to lie to you. I exposed that kid.”

Love, a vice president at Michigan-based investment firm Huron Capital, appears to have met Bamba in 2008 when he started an after-school basketball program at the New York elementary school that Bamba attended. In articles about Bamba published earlier this year, Love is referred to as a mentor to the young basketball prospect.

Love declined comment in response to an email from Yahoo Sports seeking clarification regarding his relationship with Bamba. He told 247Sports on Thursday afternoon that he supplied academic and financial support to nearly every student who was part of that after-school basketball program in 2008 and 2009.

“When Mo asked me to guide him and help coordinate the logistics of his recruitment,” Love told 247Sports, “I immediately engaged the former Chief Compliance Officer of two Big 10 / Big 12 schools, who provided frequent consultation on a variety of matters. Doing things the right way has been our top priority since day one. Mo’s got way too much to lose to take any chances on anything even remotely impermissible.”

A consensus top-five prospect in the 2017 class known best for his shot-blocking prowess and 7-foot-9 wingspan, Bamba is projected to be selected in the upper half of the NBA draft lottery next summer. He chose Texas last month over fellow finalists Kentucky, Duke and Michigan, which happens to be where Love received his master’s degree.

Landing Bamba was a massive coup for third-year Texas coach Shaka Smart. Bamba is the centerpiece of a top-five recruiting class expected to vault the Longhorns back to national prominence after a disastrous 22-loss season a year ago.

If eligible, Bamba will immediately step into the Texas starting lineup in place of last year’s leading scorer and rebounder Jarrett Allen, who left for the NBA draft. He projects as a capable low-post scorer and an intimidating last line of resistance in Smart’s trademark pressure defense.

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