January 29, 2011

Jay Bilas to do some investigating

You thought you had heard the last of Enes Kanter until NBA Draft day, didn't you?  Well unfortunately for all of us, you were wrong. It turns out that some basketball analysts are as personally invested in this story as the most passionate Kentucky fan ever could be. Such is the case for ESPN's Jay Bilas, who is apparently going to
 do some investigating into the University of Washington's recruitment of Enes Kanter. In his blog for ESPN.com, Bilas said that he wants to investigate whether current NCAA President Mark Emmert knew about the Huskies' recruitment of Kanter while he was the President at Washington. 

Bilas is likely taking exception to the bizarre public comments made by Emmert in the days following the NCAA's ruling on Enes Kanter. In an interview with CBS Sports' Seth Davis, Emmert said the fact that "very few schools recruited" Kanter meant that everyone knew he was likely to be ruled ineligible. The logic was tenuous enough standing alone, but was even more puzzling considering that one of those schools was actually Washington, which recruited Kanter while Emmert was its President. 

After some writers noticed the discrepancy, Emmert again talked to Davis and said that he wasn't involved in who the basketball team recruited while at Washington and thus didn't have knowledge of the Kanter issues. Maybe so. But Bilas obviously thinks something may be amiss in the explanation and is out to do some investigating of his own to find out what Emmert knew and when he knew it.

It is somewhat odd to see one of the most public faces of college basketball so openly take on the NCAA President. However Bilas is not alone on this train as his colleague Dick Vitale recently said on a game broadcast that if Kanter had gone to Washington, the NCAA would have ruled him eligible. The blatant allegation of a double standard was surprising enough when said by Vitale, but then for Bilas to openly suggest that he doesn't believe Emmert's public statements on the subject...well that is somewhat shocking.

Where all this will end up is still anyone's guess. But for NCAA President Mark Emmert's sake, one would hope that the most embarassing part of the entire mess was his initial admission that he lacked institutional control over his previous employer's basketball program. That is eyebrow-raising enough. If we find out that he lied about his previous knowledge level, well that would be much worse. We shall see what, if anything, Bilas finds.

Jay Bilas to do some investigating

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