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Kyle Kuzma named in NCAA investigation, Lonzo Ball comes to his defense

Kyle Kuzma is still a big baller in Lonzo Ball’s book.

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma has shown early in his young NBA career he is not one to shy away from talking about social issues. On Tuesday, Kuzma took to Twitter to speak out against the NCAA in response to news that Louisville will be stripped of their 2013 national title in wake of a sex scandal involving the university’s men’s basketball program.

The issue of student athletes at the collegiate level not getting paid isn’t new, but a recent investigation found that several high-profile players received illegal financial compensation during their time in college, including Kuzma.

According to the documents obtained by Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde and Pete Thamel, Kuzma allegedly “received at least $9,500” from former NBA agent Andy Miller and the ASM Sports Agency while attending the University of Utah.

Kuzma’s mother, Karri Kuzma, has denied the reports, saying “I never knew anything about it,” per Deseret News Utah Jazz beat writer Eric Woodyard. Kuzma’s current agency, Priority Sports, have also acknowledged the allegations but do not plan on commenting further.

Also named in the documents was No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, who allegedly took $10,000 from the University of Washington, but not No. 2 pick and former UCLA star Lonzo Ball, who told NBC LA’s Shahan Ahmed that his father, Lavar, kept him out of that mess.

However, despite not taking money himself, Ball told Ahmed that he believes NCAA athletes should get paid.

“I do,” Ball said when asked if he believed college players should be paid. “All the money they generate for the programs and stuff, it’s kind of an unfair system.”

Ball added, “Everybody knows everybody’s getting paid, and that’s how it is. Everybody’s getting paid anyway. You might as well make it legal, so that’s how I feel.”

As for his teammate and close friend Kuzma, Ball said that Kuzma could not care less.

“[Kuzma]’s in the NBA now,” Ball said. “He really don’t care, so whatever happened was in the past. Now, he’s living life.”

Ball and Kuzma are two of the NBA’s most exciting young players and potential building blocks for the Lakers. The argument over whether or not college athletes should get paid will be ongoing, but at least we know where Ball and Kuzma stand.

All quotes are via the original report by NBC LA’s Shahan Ahmed unless otherwise noted.

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