NCAA reviewing Enes Kanter's status
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky freshman center Enes Kanter practiced with the team Thursday, and the Wildcats hope that when they practice again next week, Kanter will be available to them.
To do that, Kanter will need to get another waiver from the NCAA while his amateur status is being investigated, Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy told ESPN.com on Friday.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday that he thought Kanter's waiver was through Friday, not to Friday, and had he understood it correctly, the team would have practiced Wednesday-Thursday this week instead of Thursday-Friday.
The NCAA is reviewing the 6-foot-11 center's eligibility based on whether he received expenses beyond what is considered necessary while playing for a club team in Turkey in 2008-09 prior to his year in an American high school. The NCAA also is looking at whether Kanter received a salary. Kanter is projected as a top-five pick in the June 2011 NBA draft if he declares.
Kanter, who originally committed to Washington and then signed with Kentucky, got a 45-day grace period that allowed him to practice as the team prepared for a three-game exhibition trip to Canada in mid-August. Kanter wasn't allowed to go on the trip because he wasn't eligible. Kentucky received an extension that ran out Thursday.
NCAA spokesman Chuck Wynne told the Lexington Herald-Leader in an e-mail that Kanter (referenced as the student-athlete) would be prohibited from practicing. But Peevy said the school could get another waiver that would allow Kanter to practice during the two-hour weekly sessions that are allowed prior to Midnight Madness on Oct. 15. If Kanter isn't cleared by the 15th, he can be introduced but can't participate in the festivities that night at Rupp Arena.
Calipari said he fully believes Kanter is an amateur. But Calipari said he doesn't know whether he will be allowed to play this season.
Kentucky has contended that Kanter chose not to play for the Turkish national team and turned down a separate professional contract.
In a response as to why Kanter would no longer be able to practice while Kansas freshman Josh Selby is practicing pending his amateur status review, the NCAA's director of communication strategy, Chuck Wynne, said in an e-mail to ESPN.com: "The answer to your question is found in Bylaw 184.108.40.206.3.1 Temporary Certification. (If a prospective student-athlete reports for athletics participation before the student's amateur status has been certified, the student may practice, but not compete, for a maximum period of 45 days. After this period, the student shall have his or her amateur status certified to continue to practice or to compete.) Since this applies to all student-athletes, the clock for each student-athlete will start at different times dependent upon the school's schedule.''
Wynne added that Kansas and Kentucky would have to provide the different start dates of when they began preseason practice.
The NCAA ruled earlier this week on another amateur matter. The NCAA handed down a nine-game penalty to Mississippi State junior guard Dee Bost for failing to withdraw from the NBA draft before the May 8 deadline. Bost is also ineligible for the fall semester, so his penalty won't begin until mid-December. His debut will be 16 games into the season, for the second SEC game, against Ole Miss on Jan. 12.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.