NCAA: Kanter Can’t Play, But He Can CoachPosted by jstevrtc on January 7th, 2011
The NCAA has issued the final ruling regarding the eligibility of Kentucky recruit Enes Kanter, saying in a statement today that the “new information” issued by Kentucky to the NCAA Reinstatement Committee “did not change the original statement of facts agreed to by the university and the NCAA.” Kanter is therefore permanently ineligible and will not play college basketball. The NCAA statement confirms that this is the final appeal.
The “new information” Kentucky based its request for a re-hearing on was the NCAA’s recent decision to let Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy-winner Cam Newton play after it was revealed that Newton’s father had shopped his son to at least one program for around $200,000. The NCAA essentially felt that because Cam evidently didn’t know about any of that, he was free of any guilt and his eligibility was to remain intact. By saying that the “new information” submitted by Kentucky “did not change” anything, the NCAA is saying that they see no parallels between those two situations.
That in mind, in a statement that followed the ruling, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart noted that, “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.”
The university also released a statement from head coach John Calipari, in which he said, “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 [NCAA] will likely necessitate.”
The Kentucky program, though, will still have Kanter around for a while. The NCAA statement says that Kentucky will designate Kanter as an undergraduate student-assistant coach, which would allow him limited coaching duties with the team. Kanter will reportedly stay on campus and finish the school year. Though one would have to assume that he’ll make himself eligible for the 2011 NBA Draft later this summer, this would at least put him in the position to continue his pursuit of a degree, something he and his family have said on many occasions is important to him.