LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul is being investigated by the NCAA for providing “improper benefits” to Canadian point guard Myck Kabongo who plays for the University of Texas, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports Wednesday.
Paul reportedly met Kabongo through a pair of other Canadians who played for Texas, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph.
Thompson and Joseph are both represented by Paul’s management company, Klutch Sports. Paul worked for four years for CAA, but left in the summer to start his own management company.
“At the end of the day, here’s the main thing, it’s no crime to have a relationship with the kid,” Paul told Yahoo! Sports. “Of course, I know (Myck) through Tristan and Cory. I haven’t been contacted by the NCAA and I wouldn’t put a kid in harm’s way.”
The NCAA is investigating the role Paul played in a trip Kabongo made to Cleveland last spring where the Canadian point guard worked out with trainer Jerry Powell. The issue under investigation is who provided the expenses for the trip and whether the workout was paid for by Paul.
“I told the NCAA my side of the story,” Powell said to Yahoo! Sports. “I’m sure Myck told his side. I’m not trying to ruin nobody’s eligibility. It’s never been about anything but workouts with me. I’m a trainer. That’s all. I’m not aligned with anybody. I’m my own person. I don’t get caught up with any of that.”
“My time in Cleveland was getting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist prepared for the draft. I live in Cleveland,” Paul said.
Texas basketball media relations official Scott McConnell told Yahoo! Sports he was aware of the investigation but declined to comment on the report.
Thompson, who currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, grew up in Toronto where he became friends with Kabongo. The two attended the same high school in New Jersey and Nevada before eventually deciding to play for Texas, although they were never college teammates.
Kabongo finished with 9.6 points and 5.2 assists per game for Texas in his freshman season.