Posted by MATT JONES
The NCAA Appeals Board has upheld the organization’s decision to rule Turkish big man Enes Kanter permanently ineligible to play college basketball. Kanter is attending Kentucky and his quest to be deemed eligible by the NCAA had become a cause célèbre among the team’s fans over the past four months. However, all of the attempts to “Free Enes” did not move the NCAA, which upheld its original ruling on Friday that Kanter would be unable to play for Kentucky.
The NCAA originally deemed Kanter ineligible due to $33,000 in benefits he received from a Turkish club team that it deemed to be above his “actual and necessary expenses.” This ruling was upheld, as the NCAA because according to NCAA Vice President of Academic Affairs Kevin Lennon, Kanter "received a significant amount of money, above his actual expenses from a professional team prior to coming to college." This is the second time the Appeals Board has upheld an NCAA ruling deeming Kanter ineligible and it represents according to the NCAA, Kanter’s “final appeal opportunity.”
After the ruling, Kentucky Coach John Calipari said, “We are obviously disappointed in this decision and find it unfortunate that a group of adults would come to such a decision regarding the future of an 18-year-old young man." As a result of the ruling, Kanter will not be allowed to practice or travel with the team, although the University does expect to keep him with the program as an undergraduate student assistant.