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UNC probing any athlete ties to ex-college player

Posted June 22, 2013
Updated June 23, 2013

North Carolina is investigating whether a former college basketball player has improper ties to Tar Heels leading scorer P.J. Hairston or any other UNC athlete.

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Saturday the school began looking into Rodney Blackstock shortly after USA Today reported in May that AAU coach Darius Cobb said he received $10,000 to steer former Kansas guard Ben McLemore to him as a client. Blackstock is the founder and CEO of Hooplife Academy in Greensboro, N.C. - Hairston's hometown.

Cunningham said the school's probe is "to see if there's cause for concern" regarding any potential rules violations, such as an agent or runner providing an athlete with improper benefits.

"We've been aware of it since May and we've been in contact with the NCAA on a regular basis," he said, declining further comment.

The NCAA sanctioned North Carolina's football program last year after players received improper benefits such as cash, jewelry and travel accommodations from agents or runners dating back to at least 2010.

Blackstock played collegiately at Louisburg, Howard, UNC Greensboro and Greensboro College from 2000-05.

In an email Saturday, NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter declined comment "on current, pending or potential investigations."

Big Lead Sports first reported UNC's contact with the NCAA regarding Blackstock.

Hairston, a 6-foot-5½ swingman, announced in April he would return to Chapel Hill for his junior season instead of entering the NBA draft. He averaged 14.6 points for the season, though he averaged 18 points and shot 40 percent on 3-pointers over the final 13 games after becoming a sophomore starter in a four-guard lineup.

Hairston was arrested in Durham earlier this month and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession during a license checkpoint. Two passengers were also arrested and charged with possessing a half-ounce of marijuana or less.

Officers also seized a 9mm handgun and ammunition during the stop, with Durham police spokeswoman Kammie Michael saying the pistol was found on the ground outside the rented 2013 GMC Yukon during the search. Police haven't linked the gun to Hairston or his passengers and still haven't said who rented the vehicle in an ongoing investigation.

McLemore, a second-team All-American, is expected to be an NBA lottery pick in next week's draft after one season with the Jayhawks. He broke the program's freshman scoring record held by Danny Manning and averaged nearly 16 points.

Kansas officials said last month they were reviewing the relationship between Blackstock and McLemore's family.

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  • packfan07 Jun 27, 8:25 a.m.

    Oh great, UNC is doing its own investigation. We already know how things turn out when UNC... View More

    — Posted by aoakley336

    There was no gun in the car....

    — Posted by bblack

    Yeah, but it's on the police report...

    — Posted by 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock

    my point is, this person (aoakley336) is misconstruing the facts and creating charges that... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    As the driver of the vehicle PJ is responsable for everything in the vehicle. The gun is in his control, I don't care if there was fifty people in the car.

  • 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock Jun 25, 11:02 p.m.

    Oh great, UNC is doing its own investigation. We already know how things turn out when UNC... View More

    — Posted by aoakley336

    There was no gun in the car....

    — Posted by bblack

    Yeah, but it's on the police report...

    — Posted by 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock

    my point is, this person (aoakley336) is misconstruing the facts and creating charges that... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    The gun was dropped from the car window onto the ground right by the car... This isn't some twisted mystery case like on Law & Order. PJ and his buddies were busted on the worst street in Durham, in a car none of them can afford to rent, with a gun and drugs... Anyway you look at it, it isn't pretty...

  • unc70 Jun 25, 2:35 p.m.

    Some of you complained that the headline should read "sports agent" rather than "ex-college player". Rodney Blackstock is not registered as a sports agent in NC. If he is acting as one, then he is breaking NC law.

  • bblack Jun 25, 1:24 p.m.

    Oh great, UNC is doing its own investigation. We already know how things turn out when UNC... View More

    — Posted by aoakley336

    There was no gun in the car....

    — Posted by bblack

    Yeah, but it's on the police report...

    — Posted by 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock

    my point is, this person (aoakley336) is misconstruing the facts and creating charges that aren't there....

    that gun is no more PJ's than any other of the 2 guys in the car... it is nobody's gun until it's proven to be someone's gun... and just b/c PJ is the "biggest name" in the car doesn't mean it automatically gets pinned on him until proven innocent.

  • BeastOfTheHill Jun 25, 11:51 a.m.

    The durm cops probably planted it there at the $uggestion of lipless.

  • 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock Jun 24, 11:23 a.m.

    Oh great, UNC is doing its own investigation. We already know how things turn out when UNC... View More

    — Posted by aoakley336

    There was no gun in the car....

    — Posted by bblack

    Yeah, but it's on the police report...

  • 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock Jun 24, 11:22 a.m.

    *Yawn* Dookies have no business being here given that it is 99% likely that a agent/booster... View More

    — Posted by dooksucksv7

    Until any wrongdoing is proven

    Yeah, I saw how that stopped you from bring Lance Thomas into any conversation you could...

    The guy he's friends with paid McLemore... You've got to be one dumb MF if you don't think he did the same with Hairston...

  • olivechapel1000 Jun 24, 11:03 a.m.

    I doubt this will be under the Rug. The one and done college player is not that bad for the programs. There long enough to get wins, but not long enough to suspend the program. If he had went pro, then this is not a headline, things go on.

  • bblack Jun 24, 10:56 a.m.

    Oh great, UNC is doing its own investigation. We already know how things turn out when UNC... View More

    — Posted by aoakley336

    There was no gun in the car....

  • kmor2013 Jun 24, 9:21 a.m.

    *Yawn* Dookies have no business being here given that it is 99% likely that a agent/booster... View More

    — Posted by dooksucksv7

    so still no link and still crying about a man who did nothing wrong tisk tisk tisk.

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