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John Calipari ‘comfortable’ with Nerlens Noel’s NCAA situation

Sep 8, 2012, 12:51 PM EDT

Nerlens Noel AP

Priority No. 1 for Kentucky was securing Nerlens Noel’s commitment. Done.

Priority No. 2 was getting him academically cleared. Also done.

Priority No. 3 is what Kentucky is working through now, trying to make sure Noel’s amateur status is intact and that he’ll be able to play this season for the Wildcats.

As the NCAA expands its investigation into the details of his recruitment, reported last month by Pete Thamel of, Kentucky coach John Calipari is optimistic about Noel’s chances of suiting up for UK in 2012-13.

“We feel comfortable,” Calipari told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s a review that those kinds of players go through. When you reclassify, you’re going to have reviews. When you reclassify and some people are mad you reclassified, there are going to be some reviews. That’s how it is. We’re comfortable that he’s done everything he was supposed to do.”

Noel is Kentucky’s answer to the departure of National Player of the Year Anthony Davis, another shot-blocking presence on the interior that the Wildcats hope can anchor the defense.

He reclassified from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2012, announcing his decision to sign with Kentucky in this spring.

Many analysts had him ranked as the best prospect in the 2012 class, alongside UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad.

Noel is part of a four-man recruiting class for Kentucky, joining Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley, and Archie Goodwin in Lexington.

He chose Calipari’s Wildcats over Syracuse and Georgetown.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. shrshot - Sep 8, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Of course Cal is comfy, he paid all the necessary people and the NCAA won’t even look in his direction. Cal Capone will pull off yet another heist while the MONEY GRUBBING IDIOTS at the NCAA go after some small school no name who took a team logo hand towel from a bathroom attendant in Sheboygan.

  2. imforbigblue - Sep 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Wow your a freaking moron. Your right Cal and UK pay off the NCAA SMH. Your Just hoping Noel’s can’t play for UK because your scared of what UK will do to your team. Haters are going to hate

  3. gatordontplay - Sep 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Igotblueballs is right haters are gonna hate. That’s all he does on this website. HATE!!! If you don’t like Uk then FUCK YOU or your a moron. Igotblueballs has a sad life and probably lives in his mother garage and masturbates to Antony Davis unibrow every night

  4. timb12 - Sep 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    I don’t think Cal payed anyone.

    That’d be a lot of work for a bust.

    • mazblast - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      If Cal pays anyone, he never does it himself. UK payoffs (if any ha ha ha) come from the boosters. They’ve learned from the last time they got caught.

  5. shrshot - Sep 9, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    You don’t even know what team I like… MORON. Just keep your head in the sand, and see what having the highest paid roster in CBB gets you once Cal runs to the next stop. Got to give it to him though, he usually covers his own @ss and runs right before the NCAA wises up. Look at the past, you will see your future, and no I don’t mean all your relatives in the trailer next door waiting in line for the outhouse…

  6. gatordontplay - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    I’ll be surprised to see igotblueballs reply on any on the stories for a while he usually starts shit then runs like the bitch he is when someone or a group schools him then run to another story(good job guys).. And if he does reply we all know what’s he’s going to say. Wow your a moron, haters are gonna hate, you guys fear uk.. Bitch please.. Cal took iu and unc off the schedule. He will talk about how uk is unstoppable but Flordia unc and unfortunately duke has 2 nc this century while uk has 1(for now)..igotblueballs will talk bad about recruits who don’t sign with uk saying they suck and were better without them. Kinda funny cause I’ve never seen a coach recruit a player to make the team worse, you recruit to make your team better.. Igotblueballs needs mental help and starting today I’m starting a fundraiser to get this fucking moron the help he needs.. Ill be creating a foundation called the lousville unc Florida iu duke and any other hater group against for mentally impaired Uk fans

  7. gatordontplay - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    And for the record 100% if the REAL UK fans on this site disclaim the local idiot igotblueballs.. So all attacks on UK are really on igotblueballs..(even though must us do believe cal is dirty like every other high d-1 coach)

  8. imforbigblue - Sep 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Lol Hey gator I see you have your boy friend posting on this site now good job. Come talk to me when your team is better than mine. now go play with your bf he’s feeling left out

  9. gatordontplay - Sep 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Wow that’s your best comeback blueballs? Just sad I don’t need any help taking you down dumb ass. You always tell people that everyone scared of uk but coach cal’s the one taking iu and unc off the schedule

  10. imforbigblue - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I don’t run I Just don’t waste my time on a loser like you who follows me every time I post something. I think your in love with me or something or your life sucks so bad that you have nothing better to do then run your sorry mouth on the net. I know you have to be a teenager by the way you talk because if your over 21 acting the way you do you have to be retarded and I feel bad for you

  11. gatordontplay - Sep 9, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    It’s funny you question my age i have practically imitated you on this site. So if you think I’m a moron or under 21, or you hate me then in reality you hate your self.. Go back and read all the idiotic remarks or ignorant remarks you have made, and you wonder why people talk bad about uk. your I’m better than everyone and I can talk bad about any school cause I’m Uk but you cant talk negative about us is why you are a BITCH.. Of course we are all haters and fear uk.. Uk Is no better than any other high major basketball program in the country. Like I have stated before Florida unc and duke have accomplished more in the last 12 years and just because cal is coaching at uk isn’t gonna change any of that..
    Ps igotblueballs I’m 22 years old making $72,000 a year not including possible bonuses so how big of an idiot can i be? I’m not afraid of Uk meet me in Vegas and I’ll match any future national championship bet you make

  12. cranespy - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Fact 1. Cal has left two programs with a mess to clean up.

    Fact 2. In both instances Cal was cleared of any wrongdoing.

    Fact 3. Cal is one of, if not the best recruiter in all of collegiate sports.

    Fact 4. UK under Coach Cal is well on their way to dynasty status that few teams ever enjoy.

    Fact 5. Current NBA rules are tailor made for Coach Cal who annually parlays the “one and done” rule into a roster loaded with soon to be NBA lottery picks.

    Fact 6. The Wildcat swagger is back.

    Fact 7. No one knows for certain how long this ride will last.

    Fact 8. I am not the ONLY UK fan who worries about what could happen.

    Bonus Fact. Coach Cal has only beaten a Bob Huggins coached team once.

    • mojo22046 - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      Details matter.

      Because of a bad decision by Marcus Camby, UMass had to forfeit its Final Four appearance in 1996 and return tournament money (Camby repaid it himself). That’s it. There was no punishment going forward. There was no probation. Calipari could have stayed and continued with the program uninterrupted. Bruiser Flint took over and led the team to the NCAA tournament the following year, losing to Louisville in the first round.

      So let’s be clear: it wasn’t Calipari’s mess, it was Camby’s. And Calipari left nothing to “clean up” when he accepted the Memphis offer.

      When Calipari left Memphis in March 2009 to accept an obscene contract at Kentucky, the NCAA was still conducting its lengthy investigation of Derrick Rose, who had played at Memphis in 2007-08. Yes, Calipari stayed another year at Memphis after Rose left for the NBA. He didn’t bolt. He had no reason to. But when Kentucky offered him the chance of a lifetime, which (ahem) included $4 million a year, he did what any sensible person would have done. He accepted.

      And for that he’s criticized. To listen to some critics, he should have turned down the offer and stayed at Memphis until the NCAA eventually made a decision. About five months into his tenure at Kentucky (he had already signed DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and Jon Hood), and two years after it originally found Rose eligible to play, the NCAA came to a decision. It would change its finding of eligibility and impose it retroactively. Effectively, the NCAA would punish Memphis for … following the NCAA’s original finding. And oh, what a mess that caused!

      So I’m surprised that this Kentucky fan starts off his list of facts with “Cal has left two programs with a mess to clean up.” That’s a misleading way of phrasing things, and a very strange way to support your own coach.

  13. mojo22046 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Anyone care to take a break from this slap fight and maybe talk about the story?

    According to Thamel’s piece, the NCAA’s questions focused on the cast of characters that surrounded Noel’s recruitment and how Noel paid for his unofficial visits. UK chief compliance officer Sandy Bell accompanied assistant directors of enforcement on the trip. That’s not routine.

    I’m sure Cal feels comfortable that Nerlens will play this year (without having to sit out?), but he’s making this out to be nothing more than a standard review based on reclassification. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

    • mazblast - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Thank you for redirecting the discussion back to the actual topic.

      Actually, Calipari probably didn’t use the words “standard review”. More likely he meant “business as usual”.

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