But he insisted forfeiting his license had nothing to do with any NCAA rule.
"Absolutely, I was a licensed agent," Clifton said. "But what I started and what I had given my life to was this (D-One Sports) program, and I was about to watch it fall apart. Obviously, I couldn't let that happen. So at that time -- after having not signed any clients -- I figured that (the D-One Sports) program was the most important thing for me. ... And that was the end of the agent thing."
But the controversy was just beginning.
Though the story of Wall is a nice one -- he was cut from his high school team as a sophomore; now he's a projected NBA lottery pick -- the reality is that his recruitment has caused eyes to roll. Things are basically being run by a pair of brothers -- D-One Sports patriarchs Brian and Dwon Clifton -- and sources told CBSSports.com that some college coaches have been discouraged from contacting Wall or his mother directly.
The orders: Work through the Cliftons and only the Cliftons.
Meantime, Baylor hired Dwon Clifton last week to be its director of player development and instantly became the presumed leader to land Wall. That's wild, considering it was just five years ago that the Bears were a program decimated by scandal because of the murder of Patrick Dennehy.
It's important to note Baylor coach Scott Drew merely pulled a recruiting tactic -- i.e., hiring somebody with influence over a prospect -- many have used before him, namely Kansas (hired Mario Chalmers' father), Arizona State (hired James Harden's high school coach), Kansas State (hired Michael Beasley's AAU coach), Memphis (hired Dajuan Wagner's father) and countless more.
Reached by phone, Drew declined to comment on Brian Clifton specifically.
But he stood by his hiring of Dwon.
"We hired Dwon and his résumé speaks for itself," Drew said. "He's a former college player, a college graduate and a former professional player who we believe will help our program go to the next level, and there were many other schools from the ACC, SEC and Big 12 that wanted to hire him exactly like we did. We hired Dwon because he's qualified and we are thankful to have him at Baylor."
Where this story turns next is anybody's guess.
Will Wall really follow Dwon Clifton and commit to Baylor?
Will Brian Clifton reapply for his agent's license when Wall turns pro?
Will the NCAA allow a former agent to continue to run a prominent AAU program?
Will any agent who wants to sign Wall be forced to pay Clifton a significant finder's fee?
Clifton's on-the-record answers are 1) Maybe, 2) No, 3) Hopefully and 4) Absolutely not. But others in the industry are skeptical, particularly of the last question because this is an era where the people with the most influence over prospects are almost always the ones who broker deals with agents. In other words, a man doesn't have to technically represent a prospect to get "points" on his contract, and if I had $10 for every point an AAU coach has received on a player's contract I'd be wealthier than your basic high-level AAU coach.
Furthermore, sources told CBSSports.com that Brian Clifton has helped Bill Duffy Associates sign players in the past. Yes, that's the same Bill Duffy Associates in the middle of the Mayo scandal. Small world, huh? But Clifton categorically denied the assertion and insisted he has never worked for or been a "runner" for BDA, though he did acknowledge assisting former N.C. State player Cameron Bennerman throughout the agent-selecting process.
Bennerman signed with BDA.
Clifton said he did not receive a penny.
And, like I said earlier, you can believe him if you want.
Well, I've always been cynical.