Cunningham: UNC looking into agent's activities
North Carolina has been investigating the activities of Greensboro-based agent Rodney Blackstone ever since an AAU coach accused him of wrongdoing, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Friday.
The website The Big Lead reported that an NCAA investigator was on campus this week looking into the relationship between Blackstone and guard P.J. Hairston, the team’s leading scorer and a Greensboro native.
The AAU coach of Kansas standout Ben McLemore told USA Today in May that he received $10,000 in cash from Blackstone in hopes that the coach would steer the lottery pick to Blackstone when he turned pro.
Cunningham said his staff has been looking into Blackstone since that report was published because of his proximity to the school.
A video on The Big Lead shows Blackstone saluting Hairston from the stands during the S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-Am in Durham last summer. Hairston considered going pro this spring before deciding to return for his junior season.
The UNC football team was banned from postseason play in 2012 in part because star athletes received illegal benefits from agents.
Hairston was arrested two weeks ago in a license checkpoint in Durham and charged with possession of marijuana and driving without a license. Police also found a handgun and ammunition outside of the car.
Police confiscated the rental agreement for the 2013 GMC Yukon that Hairston was driving at the time, but they have not disclosed who signed for the car, saying it is part of an active investigation. If an agent or a booster paid for the rental, it could be an NCAA violation.
UNC team spokesman Steve Kirschner believed that Hairston still was scheduled to take part in training camp for the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games team, which takes place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., next week.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said Monday that “we are still waiting until all the information comes out,” before commenting on Hairston’s status with the team.