On NCAA ruling: No Enes Kanter is no surprise

(H-L photo/Charles Bertram)

(H-L photo/Charles Bertram)

No Enes is no surprise.

Since the NCAA issued a response to criticism concerning the Cameron Newton and Ohio State rulings, the chance of UK winning its second attempt to get Enes Kanter eligible appeared bleak. In that release, the NCAA spelled out that there was no proof that Newton received money.

It didn’t mention Kanter, but it didn’t have to mention Kanter. There was no dispute that Kanter received money. UK wanted the NCAA to look at the intent, where the money was concerned. The NCAA only saw money. And that made Kanter a professional.

Like I’ve written before, I don’t blame John Calipari. If Kanter is ruled eligible, it’s a home run. That he wasn’t, and that UK never had him, means technically the Cats didn’t lose anything. There was a reason, however, why more schools didn’t go after the 6-foot-11 talent from Turkey. Apparently, they believed he would never be ruled eligible.

Where does UK go from here? On to Georgia for Saturday’s game. This is a good Kentucky team that it is getting better. It could have been a great team with Kanter, but there’s not much use speculating about that now. This current configuration has been a bit better than I expected. A Sweet 16 ceiling seems more like a possible Elite Eight. With the right breaks at the right time, this could be a Final Four team.

As for Kanter, you have to feel a bit sorry for the big fellow. He’s hung around this long in hopes something would change. But it didn’t. He’s had the opportunity to practice with a top college basketball team, but not play for a top college basketball team. Next we will see him the pros. And, yes, I expect Calipari to be right there beside him on draft day.

There will be NCAA bashing, of course. Some of it may be justified. But in the end, the $33,000 Kanter received beyond reasonable expenses was just too much to overcome. The fact that Kanter got paid for playing basketball was just too much to overcome.

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  1. [...] the permitted expenses, according to the NCAA.The ruling from the NCAA that Kanter is ineligible should not be a surprise, writes John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader:“There was no dispute that Kanter received [...]

  2. SDJack says:

    Has anyone called Joker to see if he could use a 6’10″ Tight End?

  3. Mark Liptak says:

    I congratulate both the head coach and the A.D. for their direct comments about the hypocrisy that is the NCAA.

    I found two things interesting about all this. First that the NCAA released this after 5PM on a Friday. A typical gutless move by an organization lacking in logic or gonads.

    Second, the comment about “flexible decisions” made by the A.D. is completely accurate. The NCAA does what it wants, when it wants, in whatever way they see fit without any rhyme or reason. And then they have the arrogance to get upset when different media organizations and individuals call them out for their hypocrisy.

    I have no idea what the Kanter’s will do, that’s up to them but I personally wouldn’t mind a lawsuit. The NCAA needs to be slapped back in their place; apparently they forgot what happened when they went too far with Jerry Tarkanian.

    UK will survive without him and with the possibility of an NBA lockout next year, God help the rest of the teams in the NCAA because Kentucky is going to be absolutely loaded and with a bit of revenge on their minds.

    Mark Liptak

  4. them says:

    April 1997 to August 1997: Kansas City summer basketball coach Myron Piggie makes cash payments to high school player Corey Maggette totaling $2,000. The money comes from a revenue pool that includes donations to Piggie from professional sports agents Kevin Poston and Jerome Stanley.

    Nov. 12, 1997: Maggette signs a national letter of intent with Duke.

    October 1998 to March 1999: Maggette averages 10.6 points per game to help Duke (37-2) reach the national championship game, which Duke loses to Connecticut.

    June 30, 1999: Maggette is selected 13th in the NBA draft.

    April 13, 2000: A federal grand jury in Missouri hands down an 11-count indictment of Piggie, which details the payments to Maggette (along with players at three other schools). By NCAA statutes the payments compromise Maggette’s amateur status. Maggette initially denies receiving any money.

    April 18, 2000: The NCAA’s Jane Jankowski says: “We will have to determine if Duke, in fact, had an ineligible player in the NCAA tournament. And, if so, what monies would have to be returned for use of an ineligible player.”

    May 23, 2000: Piggie works a plea bargain and admits making the payments.

    July 12, 2000: Maggette comes clean and admits he received the cash from Piggie.

    Spring 2001: Duke hands over all its information to the NCAA, according to John Burness, Duke’s senior vice president for public affairs.

    May 30, 2001: Piggie is sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for fraud.

    January 2003: Piggie is paroled from federal prison in Arkansas.

    As for the NCAA ruling, it’s been nearly four years since all pertinent information was admitted under oath, four years after the NCAA vowed to “determine” if Duke violated eligibility standards and three years after the school presented its defense.

    “We don’t have any information on that,” NCAA spokesperson Monica Lunderman said Tuesday. The NCAA does not provide comment concerning “ongoing investigations.”

    But what they could still be investigating is unclear. There appears to be nothing else to find. Everyone long ago admitted everything. If there is any movement on the case, Duke administrators are unaware.

    “We have not heard anything official for the past year,” Burness said Tuesday.

    So the case is what, fully investigated but never to be ruled on? The NCAA hoping it just fades away, forgotten?

    These things take time though, right? Not really.

    Then there is Cam Newton and the Ohio State Five. Scumbags?

  5. [...] » On NCAA ruling: No Enes Kanter is no surprise John Clay’s Sidelines johnclay.bloginky.com/2011/01/07/on-ncaa-ruling-no-enes-kanter-is-no-surprise/ – view page – cached Since the NCAA issued a response to criticism concerning the Cameron Newton and Ohio State rulings, the chance of UK winning its second attempt to get Enes Kanter eligible appeared bleak. In that release, the NCAA spelled out that there was no proof that Newton received money. [...]

  6. Chris Kaufman says:

    Let the world know that the Big Blue Nation loves its players, even when they never play a second for the team. Enes’ powerful future in the NBA will always be associated with UK and vice versa. According to everyone around him, he was a first class guy that we never got the pleasure to know.

  7. Big Dog says:

    WE no longer have to wonder if the NCAA has a “special” bias against the Big Blue Nation or Cal or both. Ohio State…….pass, Selby……..pass, Duke ……….always a pass. NCAA is a joke. Death penalty for Kanter was totally unfair. Suspension for first half of season, maybe, suspension for one year but allow him to return next year, maybe. Permanent ineligibility, not fair. Guess they were afraid UK might beat the Dukies out this year.

  8. realisticKYfan says:

    99% of the ncaa knew he should NOT be eligible and didn’t bother to recruit him. KY and Cal on the other hand thought they were either above the rules or could magically persuade the committee to look the other way. Hats off to the ncaa for doing the obviously right thing. Come on fans, let’s win the right way or we’ll just be forfeiting wins like most every place else he’s been. I want to be proud of the Cats but there is no way I could have been if he was allowed to play.

  9. JackBluto says:

    From ESPN article: “After Newton committed to Auburn, another source said an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret that he wouldn’t be going to Mississippi State, stating that his father, Cecil, had chosen Auburn for him because “the money was too much.””

    No evidence Cam received any money. Enes willing to return the extra money, but no go.

    Realistic — Enes is more innocent of wrongdoing than Selby, Newton and many others. I would be proud to have him.

  10. jim says:


  11. shoemanstu52 says:

    cam newton is eligible because of the ratings for the big game monday, this will end up similar as the reggie bush thing, but first the tv ratings are the most important thing. there is just one basic thing in regards to cam and enes. very basic folks. cam has not played professional ball, enes played not one, not two, but 3 years of pro ball, forget the money aspect folks, he actually played pro ball, doron lamb, jared sullinger, jones, knight and others in college basketball, have not play pro ball, not even one game, yet. so lets keep it simple. and as for calipari saying its a shame adults have ruined a kids” future? excuse me, but i believe enes is a top 5 or top 10 nba pick, and is about to be a millionaire. wish some one would ruin my future in the same way. cali made a mistake recruiting a kid that even some high schools shied away from, duh, calipari, are you blond?

  12. shoemanstu52 says:

    by the way, all you buckeye haters, the 5 didnt cheat in class, didnt take money from an agent, didnt beat or rape women, didnt steal anything, didnt do drugs, they only sold their POSSESSIONS, i repeat, their POSSESSIONS. okay have ya all got that? it is a bogus rule as a lot of ncaa rules are, but they broke it and were punished.

  13. denolee says:

    Personally, calling someone a pro, who played in TURKEY…is beyond my fantasies! We’re talking about an 18 year old kid who wants an American education. We’re also talking about COLLEGE basketball, where no one is paid a salary to play….I realize what I’ve written is “broken idea’s”…but so is NCAA and how they viewed ths is particular situation.

    As for the first comment left…who gives a crap about OHIO State anyway? They can sell everything they own, then take a flying leap…it would be fine with me.

  14. craziness says:

    UK fans have to get over this bias they are out to get UK thing. In case all of you forgot last year Wall was allowed to play just like Selby when he repaid money. Dee Bost at Mississippi State you say, well what about Randolph Morris and the fax last year. Cam Newton, well there is no prove Newton ever received a dime. Kanter there is proof he received 33,000 over. Which means he actually received a whole lot more than 33,000 for that season, that’s just the excessive part. So keep whining all you want but fact is fact the NCAA has been more than fair with UK over the years, it’s just this time the rules were too much.

  15. tenchat says:

    My gosh people–Enes was a professional basketball player! Why is that so hard
    to understand. He and his family were paid to play basketball by a professional team. By the regulations he is not eligible to play for a college

    My mom taught me years ago that 2 wrongs do not make a right. Why spend so much time and energy chasing this rainbow? Get on with coaching this team of stars and stop spending time on silly issue. Somebody else did this and they didn’t punish this team so they shouldn’t punish us makes us look like cry babies.

    We, as fans and supporters, deserve better from our coaches and administrators.

  16. hey Shoe, the Ohio St 5 sold their autograph for favors of monetary value just to start. That’s a against the rules and that is not even unclear. Then they sold items PROVIDED to them by the university for substantial money. Lastly, the suspension was right on, the fact they held it over for next season is what is ridiculous. All of those players can choose not to return making the punishment worthless. We will see how many come back. The fact that the insinuated that they might not have known this was against the rules was even more assenine as a sane person that has been through compliance training as a college athlete would not even have to guess. Ohio State has 6 compliance officers and as a former college football player, there is simply NO WAY in hell they didn’t know. Where was that consideration for Jeremy Jarmon? There isn’t any.

  17. TSo says:

    Let’s see …

    Mark L, the NCAA has every right to do “what it wants, when it wants, in whatever way they see fit” as the ruling body of amateur collegiate athletics in America. But, in this case at least, they are not doing it “without rhyme or reason”. The reason is that Enes Kanter played professional basketball in Turkey and received substantial pay for it over and above the costs of his education. (And I can assure you that the added $13,000 is indeed substantial for any of us, let alone a 17/18 year old, both here and especially in Turkey.) This case is not even difficult: all details have been admitted, investigated, and facts are not in dispute. Kanter violated his amateur status. Everyone else in the NCAAA seemed to know that except Calipari and the UK athletic administration. Perhaps your assertions of hypocrisy should be directed at them.

    Chris K, if Kanter was a first class guy that you never got the pleasure to know, then how do you know he was a first class guy?

    Big Dog, see comments above for Mark L. Your posting smacks of sour grapes. You sound like an 8 yr old, writing about how this decision is unfair. There is no bias against UK. When your institution cheats and gets caught, it gets punished. If a player has played professional basketball and been paid for it, he is ineligible to compete as an amateur in collegiate athletics. Again, this one is not difficult at all. There’s no bias against UK: they chose to dance with the devil, so they should know that is going to bring heat (in the form of scrutiny).

    JackBluto … hmmm … how does one respond to such drivel? To state that “Enes is more innocent of wrongdoing than Selby, Newton and many others” is like stating that a woman in her third trimester is more pregnant than one in her second. The former may be further along, but they are both pregnant. Which part of American collegiate athletes cannot have been paid professional players do you people not understand? Yes, I’m sure you “would be proud to have him”. Probably pretty proud to have Calipari too, aren’t you?

    shoemantsu52, I agree with you in principle. No doubt this rule may need to be looked at a bit deeper, but the five are not entirely innocent. Further, because of their status (as current collegiate stars and future pros) these five are able to receive benefits that other amateur athletes are not. There could be a bit more to this one. Five games was a bit much, but whatever the penalty it should have been meted out immediately just as it has been for every other situation that didn’t involve millions of dollars in TV revenue for the NCAA, the networks, and the educational institutions for a single bowl game.

    denolee, your’s is my favorite post of all. Because it is arguably the most ridiculous. No, no … it is … it is unequivocally the most ridiculous. I’m sure the players in Turkey would take great offense at your relegating them to persona non grata status as players in their professional leagues. Perhaps you haven’t seen the basketball World Championships lately. Perhaps as you were writing this nonsense it didn’t occur to you that Enes Kanter is likely to be a top five pick in the next NBA draft, and HE’S FROM TURKEY, which indicates to me that they must have some pretty good professional players there. Maybe the names Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur ring a bell? Perhaps your perspective is just a bit skewed because you are a rabid Wildcat fan. Let me help you: for the final time, PLAYING BASKETBALL PROFESSIONALLY IN ANY LEAGUE IN ANY COUNTRY FOR PAY OVER AND ABOVE THE COST OF ONE’S EDUCATION IS A VIOLATION OF AMATEUR STATUS RULES AND DISQUALIFIES THAT INDIVIDUAL FROM COMPETING IN AMERICAN COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS. Your assertion that “we’re talking about an 18 year old kid who wants an American education” is the most ludicrous of all! What we’re really talking about is an 18 year old man who has played professional basketball for three years in his native country, been paid for it, and is about to become a millionaire in the NBA playing professional basketball WHO WANTS TO PLAY BASKETBALL AT KENTUCKY. Kanter does not want an American education; he wants American college basketball exposure at the highest level, and he’s decided to play for one of only a handful of NCAA Division I coaches in America who would roll the dice with the NCAA and admit him to try to enhance his team. In this case, Calipari rolled the dice and lost … FOUR TIMES (the initial decision, the review committe, the second decision after UK asked the NCAA to review it again with “new information”, and the second review committee). Besides, if Kanter really just “wants an American education”, problem solved: while he is not eligible to play in games, travel with, or practice with the UK team, Kanter is eligible to remain in school until the completion of his education. And get this, the NCAA stated that he can continue to receive financial aid in the form of a scholarship. Wow! No issue with how the NCAA viewed this particular situation. They are hypocritical and spineless, but they got this one completely right.

  18. slydale says:

    So what we should all take out of this is future prospects should let their parents violate all the rules, take the money, but make sure there are no emails, voicemails, texts or tweets that show the athlete had any knowledge of the violations. Then you can keep the money and still be eligible. Who knew it was really that easy? Now,if you really believe the Cam Newton didn’t know about his old man’s shenanigans, I’ve got this really nice piece of ocean front property in Oklahoma I’ll sell you at a real steal.

  19. coal4_mining says:

    you feel better now tso?thx for your biased book of fiction you wrote us.and realistickyfan,you need to root for the teams that shoeman,craziness,and tso root for.because you my friend are not a kentucky fan.if you can’t see this ncaa ruling as biased against kentucky,then you are blind my friend.go big blue.

  20. TSo says:

    coal4, I’m glad you liked my post. I’m neither your friend nor a UK fan. Of course none of that matters where this ruling is concerned. I’ll not go through it again: the validity of this ruling would be obvious to any unbiased 10 year old. I applaud your devotion to your team, even if it severely clouds your judgment. Ignorance is bliss they say. Based on your post, you should never know a rainy day.

  21. Enesisfree says:

    I don’t doubt that there is a bias against Cal and UK, but the bias is a result of prior bad acts. When the cops find that you already have two tickets for speeding, they usually don’t let you off with a warning. Even so, Enes and his family admitted taking money beyond what was necessary for educational expenses. That’s the end of the story. At least, Enes is now free to make big bucks in the NBA. So the story has a happy ending for him.

  22. Dan says:

    Wildcats, stop whining… $33 grand is a lot of money. Even some pro don’t make that much! Cal should know.

  23. Question says:

    There was no question in my mind they would find Enes unable to play. A question that I have is why did Cal not recruit another big man? I mean other than Vargas, an actual player.

  24. wrinkle says:

    TSO, despite your well written diatribe, your opening sentence is unequivocally incorrect. I know you were quoting another poster, but you used it to form your own argument as well. The NCAA does not have the right to do whatever it wants as the governing body of the NCAA.

    One of the largest purposes of a governing body is to create a set of standards and to operate with consistency. It is supposed to help set a level playing field (where rules are concerned) for the institutions they govern.

    As a UK fan, I would rather this situation have played out the way that it has than for Enes to have been allowed to play and then see the NCAA change their minds and wash our season or even to give other fans more fodder to take shots at UK. There is plenty of ammunition for that already.

    However for anyone to try and defend the NCAA, not necessarily over this decision but in general, is highly illogical. Throughout the NCAA’s history it has shown massive inconsistency in it’s investigations and the doling out of its punishments. Was there not enough glaring evidence of players receiving improper benefits during the heyday of UCLA basketball as there was the SMU football program? Does the NCAA play favorites? How could it not? It is ran by human’s who have maintained personal loyalties and dislikes of certain college athletic programs throughout their lives. It is not like the NCAA is ran by a bunch of people who have had no interest in college athletics their entire lives until they went to work for the NCAA.

    Despite how you feel about Enes Kanter or whether or not you love watching a possible rival school take a ruling on the chin, the NCAA is absurd. It is as crooked as the rest of most of college athletics.

  25. matt delecroix says:

    Can anyone tell me what exactly the NCAA defines as “reasonable educational expenses”?

  26. Mark Liptak says:


    Not being facetious, it appears to be whatever they decide it is on a given day.

    Mark Liptak

  27. AuntJud says:

    The NCAA has to much control. The Big 10, SEC, Big East should all withdraw from the NCAA and then let’s see where they stand.

  28. Dan says:

    Todd is right. Newton’s dad asks for $180k for a signature (and probably got it, NCAA staff just can’t/didn’t prove it) — he plays; Kanter’s parents are honest about money, made a mistake and willing to pay it back — he doesn’t play. If I made decisions like that in my job I would be on the street.

  29. Tso says:


    Thank you for your diatribe also: a well written and well thought out post. I agree almost entirely with your post. I have no love for the NCAA, and I find most of their rulings and subsequent punishments to be misguided, ill-formed, and in many cases wholly specious. Nevertheless, my opening statement not only is equivocal where it comes to making your argument; it is absolutely correct. Further, it is not at all the basis for my entire argument. Perhaps I should have been more clear or straightforward in delivering my thesis. In any event, the NCAA is the ruling body of American intercollegiate athletics. As such they have the power to shape policy, rules, and guidelines and to enforce them as they see fit. To your point, they may have a moral, ethical, philosophical, practical – even stated – obligation “to help set a level playing field … for the institutions they govern”, but they are under no strict obligation to do so. Your post (as well as many of the others asserting hypocrisy on the part of the NCAA) makes my point: there is a mountain of evidence that suggests that the NCAA acts in their own best interest or that of particular institutions with highly inconsistent rulings and penalties. They can and do have the right and ability to run American intercollegiate athletics any way they want to as long as they do not run afoul of the law and unless and until a higher body usurps that power in the interest of the sportsmanship and fairness – i.e., your “level playing field” – that you so ardently espouse. At the end of the day, again … AGAIN … fancy rhetoric and biased arguments aside, the NCAA got this one right. To spend this much time trying to convince the uneducated – or uneducatable – or simply blindly biased – the merits of such a simple and obvious truth is tedious and pointless. But I’ve found it to be an amusing passtime to this point. The call for objectivity is at hand. Fortunately, I think you’ve found it. Best …

  30. matt delecroix says:

    Uneducated? You are correct in saying that the NCAA can make the rules and enforce them as they see fit. Where you are wrong is saying that they got this one right. That is a subjective opinion very similar to what others have stated already. Your no more educated at making an objective argument than Barry O is at running this country. Nice try though.

    This will go down as one of the most appalling decisions the NCAA has ever made. The Kanter’s will have their day in court soon enough.