Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.
The University of Kentucky plans to appeal a NCAA ruling that freshman Enes Kanter is permanently ineligible, the school announced Thursday.
A sign that there had been a decision in the case came earlier Thursday when Kanter was seen wearing practice gear and headed for Kentucky’s practice court.
Under NCAA rules, a player who has been declared ineligible can practice while his or her school appeals the ruling.
Anything is possible in the appeals process. It’s no unheard of for rulings to be reversed, upheld or penalties reduced because of appeals.
Kanter originally committed to Washington. Kentucky, which lost three big men to the 2010 NBA Draft, had not objected to the perception that Kanter could give the program a suitable presence around the basket. Kanter wowed the recruiting world last spring when he broke Dirk Nowitzki’s record for points in the Nike Hoop Summit.
UK recruited Kanter despite well-known questions about his eligibility. At least two prep school coaches turned down the chance to add Kanter to their teams last season because he played three seasons for a professionial team in his native Turkey.
The NCAA Eligibility Center has been reviewing questions about Kanter’s amateur status for months. It’s not known if Kentucky appeals to earlier rulings of ineligibility contributed to the length of the case.
During such reviews, the NCAA permits players to practice for 45 days. Kanter’s time clock began in early August when Kentucky began preparations for an exhibition series in Canada. The time limit expired in mid-September.
UK won an appeal for an extension until the end of September. But Kanter had not practiced since that time until Thursday.
When asked earlier Thursday about Kanter playing for UK at some point this season, Calipari was non-commital. “Uh, there is a chance,” he told reporterse, “but he won’t be playing Friday.
UK opens the season Friday against East Tennessee State.