Ben McLemore (Getty Images)
In an interview at the NBA draft combine in Chicago on Thursday, McLemore told SI.com if NCAA investigators want to chat about alleged payments an agent made to his former AAU coach, he'd be willing to meet with them.
"I would tell them the truth and tell them what I know, and just cooperate with them," McLemore said. "Hopefully they'll cooperate with me and hear my side."
McLemore's side appears to be that he knew nothing about the $10,000 cash and gifts AAU coach Darius Cobb admitted to USA Today he accepted from a runner this spring in return for steering the talented shooting guard toward certain agents. If he reiterates that stance to investigators and they find no proof to the contrary, it will put the NCAA in a difficult position as it tries to determine the punishment.
On one hand, the money Cobb acknowledged taking did not benefit Kansas in the least since it had nothing to do with McLemore choosing the Jayhawks two years prior. At the same time, the payments rendered McLemore ineligible based on the letter of the NCAA rulebook, which means Kansas could be punished and perhaps even have to vacate the wins it achieved after Cobb allegedly began accepting cash and gifts.
McLemore seems intent on doing everything he can to clear his name and that of Kansas. He told SI.com he has not spoken to Cobb since learning of the payments and he was hurt that Cobb would jeopardize his reputation by accepting money.
"I hope it don't affect Kansas because there's so much tradition there," McLemore told SI.com "I don't want to be one of those guys that can't be allowed to come back."
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