Brother: Bamba, ex-UM target, took cash from adviser
When Michigan fell short in its long-pursued recruitment of prized prospect Mohamed Bamba, it seemed to be the closing chapter.
But it appears there’s more to the story.
Ibrahim Johnson, the Texas signee’s older brother, recorded a profanity-filled, 22-minute video on Facebook live Wednesday night that he claims tells the “true story” of what happened during Bamba’s recruitment.
While lounging poolside shirtless wearing a black snapback, Johnson “exposes” the alleged relationship between Bamba and financial adviser Greer Love, vice president at Detroit-based investment firm Huron Capital.
Johnson alleges Love, a Michigan alumnus, gave Bamba cash and gifts, including vacations to Orlando and San Diego, a king-sized bed, a TV and shoes, with the hopes of working with Bamba in the future.
“He’s not going to play this year because I already reported him to the NCAA,” Johnson said. “I’m going to meet with the NCAA and he’s not going to play this year. I’m not even going to lie to you, I exposed that kid.”
Johnson said Love came into the picture last summer and caused a rift to form between he and his brother. Johnson added “all hell broke loose” after he disclosed his intentions to go to grad school wherever Bamba went, become a sports agent and represent Bamba in the future.
“He took my brother’s soul from him,” Johnson said of Love.
When reached by The News for comment, Love referred to a statement he gave 247Sports that denied the allegations.
In 2008, Love met Bamba after he founded an after-school program called “Locke’s Lions” at Bamba’s elementary school in Harlem that supplied academic and basketball support to underserved students.
Love eventually became a mentor for Bamba and served as his confidant throughout the recruiting process.
“When Mo asked me to guide him and help coordinate the logistics of his recruitment, I immediately engaged the former Chief Compliance Officer of two Big 10/Big 12 schools, who provided frequent consultation on a variety of matters,” Love said in the statement. “Doing things the right way has been our top priority since Day 1.
“Mo’s got way too much to lose to take any chances on anything even remotely impermissible. With my nine-year, preexisting relationship on the line with Mo personally, let alone his college eligibility, I took several additional measures to ensure that Mo was fully compliant every step of the way.”
Bamba was the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2017 class and the top-ranked center by Scout. The 6-foot-11, 215-pound standout is the centerpiece of Texas’ recruiting class after he picked the Longhorns over Michigan, Duke and Kentucky in May.
In a statement released Wednesday night to Yahoo! Sports, Texas said it hasn’t been contacted by the NCAA regarding eligibility issues with Bamba.
“As is usual practice by the NCAA, Mo’s amateur status was previously reviewed and final certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center,” the statement read. “The NCAA has not informed us of any pending issues or eligibility concerns at this time regarding Mo. If there are further questions, we certainly will cooperate with the NCAA to the fullest.”
If eligible, Bamba is expected to step in and make an immediate impact as a freshman for Shaka Smart’s team. Bamba is also considered a one-and-done prospect and projected to be a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Michigan is scheduled to visit Texas during nonconference play in the second part of a home-and-home series this season.