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The NCAA interviewed Pernell Brown, a gang-outreach worker who says he's James's uncle (although when pushed further, he admits he's not actually related). He describes himself as a friend of the family who looks after James out in Oregon.
Looking after him apparently includes buying a new vehicle to trade with James. Brown says James was concerned about a "stalker" leaving notes on his 2000 Ford Mustang, so Brown bought the Ranger Rover with $17,000 in cash, and he and James switched cars.
That's not violating any NCAA regulations, but it does sound like the kind of tortured process countless amateurs have used to cover up or get around doing something illegal.