January 4, 2011

Checking in on… the SEC

It appears that the NCAA delights in antagonizing Wildcat fans by dragging their feet through the procuess surrounding the appeal of Enes Kanter’s ineligibility ruling. The NCAA was able to declare Cam Newton eligible in a day, but has been considering the Enes Kanter case for the better part of seven months now. The NCAA declared Kanter permanently ineligible for receiving benefits over and above actual expenses while playing for a Turkish professional team as a teenager but has allowed Kentucky to resubmit their case in light of the Cam Newton case as a precedent. There were some that thought a decision would come quickly, but after two weeks of standing around and patting themselves on the back for its near endless display of inconsistency, the NCAA announced this week that no decision would come before the New Year. In the meantime, Enes Kanter’s father, stated that if declared ineligible for this season but allowed to play next year, a la Renardo Sidney, Enes Kanter would indeed return to school next year and play, rather than declare for the NBA, again making the case that Kanter’s desire all along has been to play “amateur” college basketball in the United States under coach John Calipari.

You will perhaps recall that I previously lamented the lack of quality matchups in the SEC/Big East Invitational which this year involved Arkansas, Kentucky, Auburn, Tennessee, Seton Hall, Notre Dame, Auburn and Pittsburgh. It was announced around the holidays that beginning in 2011, six SEC teams and six Big East teams will participate in an annual event whose title will alternate between the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge and SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. I for one can’t wait to see the matchups. Cross your fingers for Kentucky/Syracuse, Tennessee/Georgetown, Vanderbilt/Louisville, Mississippi State/Pittsburgh.

Jared Quillen

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