Without ever saying John Wall’s name, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. acknowledged Tuesday that one of the school’s basketball players faces questions about his amateurism that could affect his eligibility. Last week, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive told ESPN.com that the UK player was heralded freshman John Wall.
"I think the commissioner made his statement which I’m not sure he intended to make, but he made it," Todd said after a meeting of UK’s Board of Trustees.
Todd said he felt "very comfortable" with no UK official admitting a question existed on a player’s eligibility until Tuesday because "there’s no reason to expose him to a whole lot of newspaper articles when it’s not necessary till we get a final decision."
Obviously Kentucky is not happy with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive making Wall's issue public. This comment is clearly a response to that. Of course the whole reason Slive likely decided to out Wall's eligibility problem was to put a shot across the bow of Kentucky and John Calipari. Kentucky has a history of running afoul with the NCAA and Calipari left two schools on probation along with vacated Final Four appearances. The pairing of these two means suspicions will abound at the faintest sign of trouble. Slive's comments were a warning to the Wildcats and their coach that they have neither the credibility or leash to screw around with matters of amateurism where a player is concerned. Especially one everyone and their mother assumed had eligibility issues before he even set foot in Lexington.
I will say this, the interactions between the coaches of the SEC and the league office are a continual source of entertainment.