For a few hours Friday, Luther Campbell's rocky relationship with the University of Miami athletic department appeared to be headed off a cliff. Craig Anderson, associate athletic director for compliance, ordered Uncle Luke -- who despite recent criticism of the U, still bleeds orange-and-green -- to leave the building minutes after hip-hop's original bad boy agreed to take a photo with a recruit and his mother. After a flurry of tweets complaining about being kicked out by Anderson, Campbell says he patched things up with school officials.
"I don't hold any grudges against the U," Campbell says "I love the program and I would not do anything to jeopordize it."
A friend whose son committed to the University of Miami asked him to attend a meeting with an academic advisor at the Hecht Center. "I wanted to stay in the car, but my friend insisted I come in," Campbell says. "While we were waiting in the lobby for the advisor, my phone rang, so I went outside to take the call."
That's when Angela Means-Kaaya, mother to Brad Kaaya, a four-star prospect of California who is one of several recruits visiting Coral Gables this weekend, approached Campbell. "She asked to take a picture with me," he continues. "At that point I didn't know who she was. She came back with her son and a group of people, including university representatives showing them around, and introduced him to me."
Campbell says he told Means-Kaaya, a Hollywood actress who was in the movie Friday!, that he loved Los Angeles and that the University of Miami has landed great quarterbacks from California in the past. "I went back in and sat down until the academic advisor called us up," Campbell says. "When we got to the second floor, Anderson came up to my friend and pulled him to the side. Two minutes later, he tells me that I can't be there and that I have to leave."
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Campbell claims Anderson would not give a reason. "He insisted I was not allowed in the building," Campbell says. "So I left, got in my car, and started tweeting." In one of his tweets, Uncle Luke noted he had posed for pictures with the Kaayas.
The University of Miami sports office replied to that tweet with its own, explaining Campbell had been asked to leave because it's an NCAA violation for boosters and supporters to interact with recruits. Campbell argues he didn't break any rules because Kaaya was in the company of school employees.
But a few hours later, Campbell and the U had squashed their beef. "I had a conversation with the head coach [Al Golden] and the athletic director [Blake James] afterward," he says. "They apologized and said I am always welcome. It was just a misunderstanding."