Wall practices with Kentucky

Updated: October 23, 2009, 7:59 PM ET
Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky freshman guard John Wall practiced with his teammates in front of students on Friday, a day after a report that the highly touted guard might not be eligible to play.

The workout on campus was open to students, but reporters were not allowed to attend. Some students attending said coach John Calipari didn't discuss Wall's eligibility during remarks before the practice. Calipari did tweet about the crowd and his new book.

[+] EnlargeJohn Wall
Mark Zerof/US PresswireFreshman John Wall practiced with the Wildcats on Friday.

Wall is among three freshmen expected to start for the Wildcats when their season opens Nov. 13 against Morehead State. Kentucky was picked to win the SEC during the conference's media day Thursday.

But Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive told ESPN.com on Thursday the NCAA's agents and amateurism group is looking into the eligibility of Wall. ESPN.com reported that Wall's AAU coach, Brian Clifton, was a certified agent from 2007-2008.

Under NCAA rules that would be considered accepting illegal benefits. If the benefits are more than $101, a student-athlete has to repay the value of the benefits and be subject to suspension for at least 10 percent of the team's regular-season games.

School spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said Friday that the university would have no further comment. On Thursday, Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy said all players are considered eligible unless otherwise noted.

Brad Opar, a freshman from Pittsburgh, called Friday's session a "serious practice with lots of drills."

"I kind of expected it to be like a little scrimmage, just give the fans something they wanted to see," he said.

Some students left the practice feeling it's Kentucky against the world.

Said Danny Cotton, a senior from Nicholasville: It seems "the NCAA's always out to get us."

And Chase Hieneman, a sophomore from Greenup County, said Calipari spoke of his visit to a coal mine during Friday's practice and repeated a saying he learned from miners: "We all go down together. We all go up together."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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