NCAA looking into dealings with Clemons, Okafor

Updated: August 24, 2003, 5:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

A formal investigation into the Missouri basketball program has yet to begin, but two facets have already been targeted for inquiry, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The NCAA plans to look into the recruitment of two College of Southern Idaho players, center Uche Okafor and point guard Ricky Clemons, and will also analyze the academic records from Clemons' junior college days, the newspaper reported.

The Post-Dispatch noted that Missouri has not received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA, and that no one involved in Missouri athletics has been contacted.

But the paper reported that former Southern Idaho assistants Jay Cyriac and Brian Hancock have interviewed with the NCAA, while former head coach Derek Zech refused to be interviewed. The NCAA evidently wants to find out whether Okafor and Clemons were improperly steered toward Missouri.

In addition, the NCAA will look into Clemons' transcripts from Barton County Community College, which he attended last summer. The newspaper reported that Clemons received 12 credit hours from the school, and that the NCAA will look into how he paid for the courses, as well as evaluating his classroom work.

Okafor never played at Missouri after signing a letter of intent in the spring of 2001. The NCAA ruled him ineligible the following January due to violating amateur-status rules, and he eventually left Missouri to play in the United States Basketball League.

Clemons is expected to be released Sunday from the Boone County Jail, where he is serving a 60-day sentence for false imprisonment in an incident involving former girlfriend Jessica Bunge. A starter last season, Clemons averaged 14.2 points, but his scholarship has since been revoked.

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