The Skal Labissiere eligibility concerns are becoming a little more concerning as more and more reports come out. While UK is still confident Labissiere will be cleared in time for the season, we can’t overlook what is currently being reported on the internet.
The latest comes from Gary Parrish at CBSSports.com, who has learned the NCAA interviewed Labissiere’s AAU coach just this week. The interview was conducted to look into allegations of possible misconduct by Gerald Hamilton, Labissiere’s guardian here in the States.
Jack Britton, the NCAA’s Assistant Director of Amateurism, Complex Case Review, called former Memphis AAU coach Keith Easterwood on Monday and asked a variety of questions about Labissiere’s guardian, Gerald Hamilton, whom Easterwood has known for years. Britton subsequently followed up with an email that Easterwood provided to CBS Sports.
Two of the questions Britton asked Easterwood via email are:
— “Has Mr. Hamilton ever texted you asking for your help in finding someone that could advance Mr. Hamilton a sum of mony related to Skal Labissiere?”
— “Did Mr. Hamilton ever inquire to you about how he could procure a ‘shoe’ deal for Skal Labissiere?”
Easterwood told CBS Sports last November that Hamilton, after realizing the potential of Labissiere, once called and asked, “How can I make money off of a basketball player?” [CBSSports.com]
Parrish wrote about Hamilton and potential trouble with Labissiere’s eligibility around this time last year, before Labissiere committed to Kentucky. Even then it was clear an NCAA investigation would come, and here it is.
For now, we can only trust UK’s confidence in its own investigation into Labissiere and Hamilton. It’s been two months since Calipari addressed the issue, but that will change tomorrow morning when he speaks at UK Basketball Media Day.