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When NCAA eligibility dramas aren't equal

Oct 13, 2010, 12:15 AM EDT

Two of college basketball’s premier programs are dealing with freshmen eligibility questions. But you’d never know it.

Everyone’s atwitter (pun intended) about Kentucky recruit Enes Kanter. Did he receive more than $100,000 in salary and expenses from his Turkish club, Fenerbahce Ulker? Or is the team merely staging a prolonged shakedown for a payment or the return of Kanter’s services?

All it took was a N.Y. Times article with Fenerbahce’s general manager denying the shakedown and ripping Kanter’s academic qualifications. “Enes has a good basketball potential yet academically, he is not gifted as much,” Nedim Karakas told the paper.

As a result, my Twitter feed blew up. Responses ranged from indignation regarding Karakas’ comment, to Fenerbahce’s stance on the shakedown to outright weariness on the whole drama.

(Count me among the final group. I’d ready for the NCAA to rule on Kanter so we can all move on.)

Meanwhile, Kansas is still waiting on the NCAA to rule on Josh Selby, who is in limbo because of his association with Robert Frazier, the business manager for Carmelo Anthony. Selby’s mom says Frazier’s a longtime family friend and has merely advised her son. The NCAA is making up its own mind.

Not that anyone seems to care outside of Kansas.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self and Selby spoke at the Jayhawks’ media day, but didn’t have much to say, mostly because they didn’t have anything to report.

“We hope to have a resolution to it sooner rather than later. But I don’t know when that will be,” Self said. “I certainly understand why this has taken a little bit of time but I do think there will be a positive conclusion. Hopefully, shortly. But I don’t know that to be a fact.”

Most seem to think it’s only a matter of time before Selby –’s No. 1 recruit in 2010 – is eligible. Kanter’s anyone’s guess. (John Calipari says Kanter will play.)

Thing is, both players are crucial to a pair of Final Four contenders and both are in a similar situation. But it’s not that Kentucky or Kansas did anything wrong in taking these guys — several schools wanted Selby, while Kanter de-committed from Washington to head to Lexington — but the underlying theme is that Kentucky is, in fact, cheating.

Why the disconnect? Maybe it’s the overseas and payment issues surrounding Kanter that makes the news around him more frenzied. Maybe it’s that he plays for Kentucky, which is in 24/7 coverage. Or maybe it’s that he’s a Calipari recruit.

Schadenfreude may as well be an English word.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

  1. ruppman - Oct 13, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Thats the difference between going to Uk and going to KU. You get no coverage at KU, you disappear, thats why players want to go to Kentucky!

  2. jack - Oct 13, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    where do you get the idea that uk is cheating. its people like you that start sh** when all you can do is trash schools you don,t like. if you can’t be objective maybe you need to find someother kind of employment.

  3. James - Oct 13, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Um, Jack, may wanna settle down there. He seems to be pointing out that there’s no reason to think that, but that’s the perception anyways. Three articles filled with hearsay and Turkish propaganda from the NYT will do that.
    Where’s Thamel’s one-sided op-eds on Selby? (oh, wait…those Kanter pieces were supposed to be objective?!)

  4. andrew - Oct 13, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Jack — Miller is not suggesting UK is cheating. What he is saying is that the underlying theme from others writing about the Kanter situation is that UK and/or Calipari is cheating. Since UK and Calipari (more than any other school) are on everyone’s college basketball radar, they repeatedly take shots and accusations without proof — ie. Pete Thamel and his shoddy “reporting” on the Kanter stories… not to mention Thamel’s Bledsoe story.

  5. scubado - Oct 13, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Calipari has cheated at every institution he has coached in the past. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t cheated at UK (a tiger can’t change his stripes). Perhaps not in this particular situation, but others.
    It’s probably only a matter of time before UK is on probation (probably after Calipari leaves to go elsewhere).

  6. PHIL BARKER - Oct 13, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    When it comes to national attention, nobody does it 24/7 better than Kentucky basketball.
    The Pete Thamels’ of the world will ignore cheating and taking marginal student/athletes in their own backyard to smear Kentucky basketball. Jim Calhoun’s sweeping of Ater Majok
    under the carpet without anyone questioning the reasons when Majok says he wanted to stay??? Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim gets a pass on losing 2 scholarships due to not meeting NCAA minimum academic progress standards…the list goes on. Check out ESPN’s basketball leader board and see how long any negative articles about Kentucky basketball stay up compared to other colleges. Calipari said it right…”when you are on top, everyone
    is trying to bring you down”.

  7. Bagels - Oct 13, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Haha, these self centered UK fans crack me up. You guys get more attention than anyone because of your recruiting class last year. One year of national spotlight and you guys think you’re the best in the country. Your coach is a snake and needs to be banned from coaching in the NCAA. Two schools left with MAJOR violations that took away Final Four appearances, but this guy goes free each time. Total bullsh*t. Kansas and Bill Self are one of the most successful programs in the last decade. We consistently get good recruits and have only ever had 1 player go after their first year. That’s how you win championships look at 2008. When was the last time Kentucky won the title? 1995? I’d be very disappointed if Calipari was ever hired again at Kansas. Bet on it, Ku will win another National Championship before UK.
    I wish we played you guys every year. I hate UK fans and their high-horse attitudes. Kansas the birthplace of Kentucky (Rupp from Kansas) and North Carolina (Dean Smith from Kansas) basketball.

  8. PhIL BARKER - Oct 13, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Damm! Here I was just doing a little bottom fishing and had no idea I would hook a jayhawk. Hey Bagels, please do not tote out KU’s record book against Uk’s…it would so
    intimidate us arrogant Big Blue Fans. I believe you have 3 NCAA titles versus our 7 and
    your 6 wins against our 19 victories in head to head contests is a real trend setter. Would
    you like a little sour cream on your bagel? Oh! Fret not over Calipari taking the head
    coaching job at KU…it would be a step down. Just having some fun Bagels…feel free to
    pull my chain any time. Hope UK and KU start up another series so we both can continue to drink our cool aid…Ha!
    PS. Naismith invented basketball
    Rupp perfected it

  9. Carl - Oct 18, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Bagel, a few facts..UK won championship in 96 and 98. Made it to the final in 97. Where did you come up with 95?
    Calipari did not cheat at UMass…Camby did. Calipari did not cheat at Memphis…Rose cheated on his ACT BEFORE he signed with Memphis. Typical of the UK/Calipari haters you never let the facts get in the way of accusations.
    Oh and in case you were in a coma:
    ‘Citing academic fraud by a former graduate assistant football coach and a woeful compliance record under former athletic director Al Bohl, the NCAA extended Kansas’ self-imposed probation through October 2009′
    ‘The National Collegiate Athletic Association today barred Kansas, the defending basketball champion, from post-season play in 1989 and placed the school on probation for three years for recruiting violations. Kansas will be the first N.C.A.A. champion in basketball not allowed to defend its title.’

  10. LUKE - Oct 26, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Basketball lives in Allen Fieldhouse. If you deny this, you deny basketball. Do your research and you’ll see why Kentucky leads the win total, and where the championships truly came from. It’s dissappointing that Rupp was from KU, because he represents one of the most scandalous times of Kentucky basketball history. I say “one of the most” because I’m certain (as is every basketball follower in the nation) that Calipari will be nailed with major violations in the near future. The fact of the matter is, neither Kentucky nor North Carolina would have basketball programs if it weren’t for good ol’ Kansas. To say that players go to Kansas to be “forgotten” is a complete joke. Kansas has had a single one-and-done in the history of the program. Kentucky had 5 times that many just last year! Talk about being forgotten, Kentucky fans have to cheer for a new starting 5 every year, and those player’s names dissappear into the books as kids who came and played good ball but achieved nothing but a winning record and the worst GPA of all the schools in the land. You can have your titles and your wins, but for those who love the game, Kentucky is a stain in our loins.

  11. sherry - Nov 4, 2010 at 7:41 AM

    oh dont argue about who did this and who did that. there are talented recruits on almost every team. iam a kentucky fan but just let the kids have fun.

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