Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Rules Apply to Everyone But Kentucky


That didn't take long:
Kentucky's John Calipari raved about the development of highly touted freshman guard John Wall Thursday morning during media day for the Southeastern Conference. Hours later, a report surfaced that his prized recruit might not be eligible to play.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive told ESPN.com that he believes the NCAA's agents and amateurism group -- not enforcement officials -- are looking into the eligibility of both Wall and Mississippi State freshman Renardo Sidney.

"Those are amateur issues that arose prior to their coming to our schools," Slive said. "Those are strictly amateurism issues. As we told our people, somebody needs to determine if they are eligible. It's not relative to you, it's relative to them."

An SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said he could not confirm the eligibility issues to The Associated Press, and Slive was not available for comment.

Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy said the school had no comment, but added all players are considered eligible unless it is otherwise noted. Calipari did not respond to a text message from The Associated Press.

ESPN.com reported that Wall's AAU coach, Brian Clifton, was a certified agent from 2007-2008. That would constitutes Wall accepting illegal benefits from an agent under NCAA rules. If the benefits are more than $101, a student-athlete has to repay the value of the benefits and be subject to suspension for at least 10 percent of the team's regular-season games.

Wall was one of three freshmen from the nation's top recruiting class who were penciled in as starters for the Wildcats when their season opens Nov. 13 Morehead State.

Of course, Coach Calipari is not involved, and his hands are clean. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

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