NCAA Basketball

Sorry Kentucky: NCAA Rules Enes Kanter Ineligible

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In an apparant episode of MSNBC’s Lockup, the NCAA decided today to rule Enes Kanter permanently ineligible to play college basketball. They ruled that the compensation that he received from his Turkish professional team was impermissable.

My opinion on this is obviously disapointment. Obviously it would have been fun to see this gifted and well-liked player suit up for the Cats. I am also saddened for him because it appeared that he had such a strong desire to play for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.

But, I’m also happy that this saga is over. I mean, I often wondered what would happen first: Kanter’s ruling or Kentucky’s bowl game against Pittsburgh. Well, the Kanter ruling beat it by one day. How in the hell does it take the NCAA until January 7 to rule on this thing? It is so difficult to figure out what goes on inside the brains of the people running college athletics. Still, it’s over, so now we can focus on basketball and lose the marketing ploy that was “Free Enes”.

Here’s what NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs, Kevin Lennon, had to say about their final decision.

“While unfortunate for Enes and the University of Kentucky, the final decision of the reinstatement committee is completely compatible with the collegiate model of sports our members have developed, since he received a significant amount of money, above his actual expenses from a professional team prior to coming to college.”

After the ruling was announced, UK president Lee todd, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart and UK head basketball coach John Calipari all weighed in.

Lee Todd

“I’m very disappointed in what appears to me to be an inconsistent decision that leaves an outstanding young man without any recourse. It’s very disappointing that this young man, who along with his family intended to do everything the right way and in compliance with the rules, won’t be able to pursue his dream of playing at UK and in intercollegiate athletics. As an NCAA board member, I continue to be puzzled and confused by the reasoning behind this decision, which seems to be an inconsistent and arbitrary application of the rules. It is unfortunate and disappointing that Enes and his family have been negatively impacted by this process. It is certainly a matter I will continue to try to understand and question in my remaining time on the board as part of an organization, whose stated purpose is to put families and student athletes first.”

Mitch Barnhart

“We are disappointed in the result and equally disappointed in the process. We have spent significant effort and resources to help this young man play college basketball in the United States. This has been on our radar screen daily for 10 months.

“We were informed by the NCAA that the flexible decisions made by the NCAA staff in other high-profile cases could not be used in case precedent and were not binding on the NCAA going forward. The University of Kentucky was very hopeful that our student-athlete might receive the same type of consideration afforded to these other athletes but that did not happen. We were also reminded on a regular basis that the amateurism and professionalism piece, including benefits received from a professional team, is the one area of Bylaw 12 that has not been deregulated.”

John Calipari

“We are obviously disappointed in this decision and find it unfortunate that a group of adults would come to such a decision regarding the future of an 18-year-old young man.

“This has never been about our program or the University of Kentucky, it has been about the wishes of Enes and his family to have their son educated in the United States. It is a shame that Enes had to endure the constant speculation and misinformation that was furthered by certain media organizations in the smear campaign conducted by his Turkish team.

“The silver lining is that Enes will always be part of this team. My job will be to prepare him for his entry into the NBA Draft, which this decision by the Association will likely necessitate. Enes will always be a part of our family and I plan to be by his side in the green room whenever he is drafted.”

Now the season goes on without Enes Kanter and attention can finally be turned towards on-court action 100-percent. Here Calipari talks about Saturday’s SEC opener against Georgia.


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