Mo Bamba, one of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects, was ruled eligible by the NCAA to play as a freshman for Texas despite claims by his brother that he received impermissible benefits. Gregory Payan AP
Mo Bamba, one of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects, was ruled eligible by the NCAA to play as a freshman for Texas despite claims by his brother that he received impermissible benefits. Gregory Payan AP

University of Texas

NCAA clears Texas freshman whose brother said he broke rules

From staff and wire reports

July 11, 2017 06:44 PM

UPDATED July 11, 2017 11:14 PM

The NCAA announced Tuesday that Texas Longhorns basketball recruit Mo Bamba remains eligible after reviewing the assistance the incoming freshman received from a Detroit financial adviser.

Bamba’s older half-brother, Ibrahim Johnson, released a 22-minute, profanity-laced Facebook video last month in which he said he would “expose” Bamba for taking money and gifts from Greer Love that could potentially endanger his brother’s amateur status.

But the NCAA found no evidence that Love met its definition of an agent. They cited Bamba’s long-standing and pre-existing relationship with Love going back to fourth grade when he developed a relationship with Love through an after-school mentoring program.

Bamba, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-11 forward from Harlem, N.Y., is rated as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports.

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Johnson claimed that Love gave his brother $200 a week, paid credit card bills and paid for a trip to California. Johnson, a former Division II player at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, also complained of a falling out with his brother and said Bamba wouldn’t help him get into graduate school at Texas.

“After evaluating all available information, the NCAA determined the assistance Greer Love provides to Mohamed Bamba does not violate rules,” NCAA officials said. “Bamba remains certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.”

NCAA officials also noted that Love had a pattern of offering comparable benefits to other people in the mentoring program, including students who weren’t pursuing athletic careers or opportunities.

“Although the mentoring program had both an academic and athletics purpose, their relationship was not established based on [Bamba’s] ability or reputation as an athlete,” NCAA officials said. “Further, the pattern of communication between [Bamba] and Mr. Love has been continuous and the benefits provided to [Bamba] have been consistent since the establishment of their relationship.”