John Calipari Expects John Wall To Play
Kentucky’s basketball team held their annual Blue-White scrimmage last night, and by all accounts the product, while still needing work, looks as good as advertised, especially concerning one John Wall. While the defense isn’t what the Wildcats will see as the season progresses, Wall still put on a show as he went for 25 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.
The questions surrounding Wall, however, have nothing to do with his talent level. Instead, the burning thought has to do with whether or not Wall will be eligible when the Cats take the court for real on November 13 against Morehead State. By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the issues related to Wall’s AAU coach, Brian Clifton. Not only was Clifton one of Wall’s advisors, at the time he was coaching Wall, he was also a certified agent. The questions about Wall’s eligibility have to do with whether or not Clifton helped Wall pay for any unofficial visits he took. ESPN has more details:
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.
After the scrimmage, John Calipari was asked about Wall’s pending eligibility issues, and according to Calipari, he expects Wall to be available when Kentucky begins their season.
Asked if he expected Wall to play in UK’s regular-season opener against Morehead State Nov. 13, Calipari said, “Yeah, I do.”
I’m guessing that means if Kentucky hasn’t heard anything definitive from the NCAA by that date, Wall will play. Does that mean Wall is in the clear? Um, no. Until the NCAA makes their findings and rulings known, there’s no telling how this is going to play out. I wouldn’t be amazed if they decided to make an example out of Wall, ala Dez Bryant.
As of today, however, Wall’s coach expects him to play when the season starts. Is that enough to calm Kentucky fans? Until the NCAA actually releases their findings, I’m going to have to say no.