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.
ESPN.com 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.