Calipari: Nerlens Noel cleared to play in games
by From staff reports, USA TODAY
University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari said during an interview on ESPN on Wednesday morning that star freshman Nerlens Noel “is cleared to practice and cleared to play games.”
Sports Illustrated reported in August that the NCAA had expanded its review of Noel’s eligibility. The report said the review was not on academics but on activities surrounding Noel’s recruitment, including how he paid for unofficial campus visits.
Calipari, appearing on SportsCenter as part of a series of promotional interviews advancing of Wednesday night’s all-access ESPN program about the UK program, was asked by ESPN’s Hannah Storm about Noel’s eligibility.
“He’s cleared to practice and cleared to play in games. … Everything is good to go,” the coach said.
UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy, when asked in a follow-up text message if Calipari’s comments mean the 6-10 Noel is now completely eligible and will be playing in UK’s first game, wrote that the school had no update on Noel.
“We will not confirm eligibility of any student-athlete until the first day of competition,” Peevy wrote in the text message.
Kentucky, third in the USA TODAY Sports preseason coaches poll released Wednesday, opens Nov. 9 against Maryland at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Contributing: The Courier-Journal of Louisville