Back in January 2022, Rob Cassidy, Rivals’ head of basketball operations, wrote on X that Steelers running back Najee Harris “once told me that Jim Mora told him he knew who killed Tupac during a recruiting visit and I’ve never stopped thinking about that.”
It was a bizarre anecdote, one that connected Mora — at the time UCLA’s head coach — and Harris and rapper Tupac Shakur into a story that was unlikely yet still intriguing.
But it might not be true at all.
With Duane “Keffe D” Davis getting charged Friday for murder — around 27 years after Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting — the story that Mora allegedly told Harris resurfaced.
“A complete fabrication,” Mora, now UConn’s head coach, told the LA Times. “I doubt Najee ever said it because it never happened.”
Cassidy told the Times that Harris shared the story in 2017, during a camp at Fullerton College — the year before he started playing college football at Alabama.
Najee Harris once told me that Jim Mora told him he knew who killed Tupac during a recruiting visit and I’ve never stopped thinking about that.— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) January 17, 2022
He recalled asking Harris if Mora mentioned a specific name for Shakur’s killer, and Harris, who later became a first-round pick and Pro Bowler with the Steelers, gave a “non-answer” that “was a throwaway comment in a larger conversation,” Cassidy said, according to the Times.
Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson called Davis the “shot-caller” for the group of suspects that killed the rapper, adding that Davis — who isn’t accused of firing the gun, according to the Associated Press — “orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”
Mora was fired late in 2017 following a pair of 10-win seasons with UCLA, two other bowl appearances and then a pair of losing seasons — 4-8 in 2016, 4-7 to start the next year — that sank his first chance as a collegiate head coach.
He was hired by the Huskies ahead of the 2022 season, and Mora guided them to a .500 record and a Myrtle Beach Bowl appearance in his first year with the program.