John Wall Eligibility Issues Resolved

Posted by jstevrtc on October 31st, 2009

Kentucky fans are breathing easier tonight.

According to Lexington television station WLEX-18, the NCAA has cleared Kentucky’s insanely talented point guard (and pretty good dancer) John Wall to play, provided that a couple of conditions are met — namely, the repayment of travel expenses and the sitting of Wall for two games.  The games are UK’s exhibition this Monday night against Campbellsville and the November 13th regular season opener against Morehead State.  This all stems from Wall having played AAU basketball under coach Brian Clifton, who, even though he was not acting as one, was a certified agent at the time.  The expenses, totalling $787.58, are evidently related to costs in making unofficial visits to various schools.

We sort of figured that even if anything came from this at all that it wouldn’t be much, and that’s pretty much what has happened.  No word on whether or not the eligibility of any other player from that AAU squad has been adjusted.  In the report from, to his credit, Wall’s first offering of gratitude went to his mother, for whom Wall claims the wait for a final ruling has been particularly difficult; head coach John Calipari added, “John Wall is a great kid who always tries to do the right thing and his mother is a great lady.  I’m just happy this is behind us.”

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SEC Commissioner Slive Questions Wall’s Eligibility

Posted by jstevrtc on October 22nd, 2009

There aren’t many things these days that could spoil the tidal wave of hope and anticipation that has consumed the entire state of Kentucky and Wildcat supporters the world over.  But this is definitely one of them. is reporting that issues have been raised regarding the recruitment and signing of presumptive freshman superstar John Wall.  Evidently, SEC commissioner Mike Slive has confirmed to ESPN that the eligibility questions are centered around Wall’s having played AAU ball for coach Brian Clifton, who was once a certified agent.  By NCAA rule, playing for an agent implies that you accepted illegal benefits from them.  It is being investigated how much — if anything at all — Wall would be responsible for.  Things are a little vague at this point, but Wall’s eligibility for any or all games would be affected by the amount of benefits he is deemed to have accepted, which he would have to repay.  It should be noted that Mr. Clifton claims that, though he admits he was at one time a licensed and certified agent, he forfeited his agent’s license in August of 2008 to commit all of his energies to his AAU teams. 

In the early going, there are two questions at the forefront of this:  first, if you play for someone, is it to be assumed that you accepted illegal benefits from them?  Second, if you technically have an agent’s license but aren’t acting as an agent, are your players violating NCAA rules?  Given the NCAA’s, er, interesting way of interpreting the rules, it will be interesting to see where, if anywhere, this goes.

More on this as events unfold.

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