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Part of the Problem

An interesting development in the Mayo mess.

The investigation by the National Basketball Players Association into whether monetary gifts were provided by a sports agency to NBA draft prospect O.J. Mayo has taken an unexpected turn.

Sources are telling CNBC that the top legal counsel for the NBPA, Gary Hall, was paid to work for Bill Duffy Associates--the agency that represents Mayo that is under investigation--at least twice.

Several agents, who are looking to clean up the industry, said that they were concerned that an unbiased investigation could be conducted without Hall taking himself out of the mix for the case.

That will no longer be an issue.

"Gary Hall is going to recuse himself from any involvement in any investigations that occur regarding BDA,” union spokesman Dan Wasserman told CNBC. “In that instance, our director of security and agent administration Robert Gadson will report directly to our executive director Billy Hunter."

Hall stepping away could be a net loss for the case, since it means one less staff member to monitor these developments. Agents who spoke anonymously to CNBC said they had hoped that this case—and the union's response—would help clean up the sketchy industry.

Many have argued that the already small staff within the union's office, and its lack of subpoena power, make it virtually impossible to adequately monitor the roughly 400 agents registered with the union.

While it’s understandable that there would be some cross-pollination between the agents and NBPA, there should be more of a wall between the two especially in the areas of enforcement or in setting up more stringent guidelines. That Hall has to recuse himself from the investigation shows that the parties are just too close. I say treat the relationship between the parties just like a non-compete agreement. If one party switches sides there should be a time limit before they could become involved in representation of either

It will be interesting to see just where this “investigation” goes.