Prez: No problem with handling of probe
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Kentucky president Lee Todd says he has no problem with the way the school has handled the investigation into freshman point guard John Wall's eligibility.
Todd said Tuesday the school was simply trying to protect Wall and did not apologize for keeping quiet about Wall's status. ESPN.com reported last week the NCAA was looking into whether Wall's relationship with his AAU coach -- who worked briefly as a licensed sports agent during Wall's high school career -- violated NCAA amateurism rules.
"It's an issue that we've been working on and it's one where we're protecting the player," Todd said. "We don't know what the answer will be, but when it comes out we'll be transparent."
The report said the school has known about the situation for some time, but Todd said the university did not want to put Wall and his family through press scrutiny.
"There's no reason to expose the young man to a lot of newspaper articles when it's not necessary until we know the final decision," Todd said.
Wall made two unofficial visits to Kentucky during 2007. Brian Clifton, Wall's AAU coach, was also a certified agent at the time. If Clifton helped pay for Wall's visits, that would constitute Wall accepting illegal benefits from an agent under NCAA rules.
If the benefits are more than $101, an 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.
Kentucky coach John Calipari -- who was not the coach at Kentucky at the time -- and athletic director Mitch Barnhart have not commented on Wall's status. Wall is practicing with the team and is expected to play in the Blue-White scrimmage at Rupp Arena on Wednesday night.
Whether he suits up when the Wildcats open the season on Nov. 13 against Morehead State is another matter.
Wall was considered one of the top high school players in the country when he signed with the Wildcats and his stay in Lexington is expected to be short.
Calipari, however, has praised Wall's efforts in the classroom, saying Wall received the top grades among incoming players during summer school.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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