December 8, 2010

Cam Newton is Enes Kanter's Best Chance

It's Tuesday and no word yet on Enes Kanter. Each passing day increases the likelihood of the next day being Enes Kanter day. It might be hard to get excited about the possibility of a ruling each day, especially after a bit of a let down last week. Everyone expected a decision on Friday, but don't let not getting a decision let you down. In fact, the lack of a ruling and the submission of new information could be Enes Kanter's best chance.

At least that's what ESPN thinks. Eammon Brennan of ESPN had this to day:

this is Kentucky's last and best chance at getting Kanter on the floor this season. Why? Because the NCAA seems to have ruled one way on Newton and the other on Kanter. How else can you explain the two decisions?

The Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement could have decided -- and this is just a guess -- that Kanter knew about the professional-level benefits he received as an ostensible amateur in Turkey, that his family wasn't the only entity pulling the purse strings. If that's not the case, if Kanter didn't know how much money his family was receiving from Fenerbahce, then the NCAA appears to have backed itself into an intractable corner. That's the distinction the NCAA has created, and that's the one it will need to solve almost immediately.

How the Newton decision will affect recruiting and punishment over the long term remains a mystery. It's not hard to see it as a major slippery-slope; if the ruling becomes codified precedent, family members, AAU runners and the like would seem to have free reign to pursue cash in exchange for their players' services, so long as the player can plausibly deny any such arrangement. The Kanter case isn't directly analogous, but it is the first time a school will attempt to test this brand new Newtonian loophole. How UK's new hearing (and, if necessary, subsequent appeal) proceed will give us a first glimpse at what might just be a new NCAA era.

Theoretical noodling aside, though, the bottom line is this: Thanks to Cam Newton, Kentucky now has as good a chance at getting Enes Kanter eligible as ever. Probably better. A conference rival in a separate sport has never been quite so kind.

There's a lot of chatter in Big Blue Nation about the Cam Newton ruling helping or hurting Enes. It would almost seem that there are equal amounts of fans on both sides of the fence. A recent poll on NOB shows differently though.

As of this writing, 84% of UK fans on Nation of Blue feel like the Cam Newton ruling does help Enes. Leave us a message below to let us know your thoughts.


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