Sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo has been suspended for the entire season by the NCAA, Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday night.
Kabongo has already missed the Longhorns' first 11 games of the year while he was being investigated for allegations that he received impermissible benefits during the offseason. Kabongo flew to Cleveland in May to work out with Cavailers forward and former Longhorn Tristan Thompson, a childhood friend of Kabongo's.
Head coach Rick Barnes would not confirm or deny the report after his team's 85-67 win over No. 23 North Carolina on Wednesday.
"There's a process that every athlete goes through and I can only tell you that process is not done," Barnes said. "They're in the middle of that process and when it's done, we'll go from there. I can't say it any better than I just said it. Every student-athlete is entitled to a process if something comes up. That process is still ongoing."
Thompson's agent, Rich Paul, who also represents Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, allegedly paid for Kabongo's flight, which would constitute a NCAA violation.
NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124 states that a student-athlete would be deemed ineligible if they accepted "transportation or other benefits from... any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability [or]... an agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete."
According to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, the reason for Kabongo's season-long suspension was that he lied while being interviewed by NCAA investigators.
Kabongo decided to put his professional career on hold, returning for his sophomore season after averaging 9.6 points and 5.2 assists per game as a freshman last year. The 22nd-ranked prospect by ESPN, which projects him to be a mid-first round pick, Kabongo is projected to be an early second round pick by CBSSports.com and draftexpress.com.
Texas takes on No. 20 Michigan State in East Lansing on Saturday in what will likely be the 12th straight game Kabongo misses this season.