Noel cleared to play by NCAA



Staff Report

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While making his morning rounds at ESPN, UK basketball head coach John Calipari told viewers that freshman center Nerlens Noel “is cleared to practice and cleared to play games.”

“No update on Nerlens Noel. We will not confirm eligibility of any student-athlete until the first day of competition,” a UK spokesman told the Kernel Wednesday morning following Calipari’s comments.

But, Wednesday afternoon, NCAA spokesman Bob Williams told USA Today that Noel is “cleared to practice and compete.”

Noel, who re-classified in the spring, had been investigated by the NCAA since May due to potential amateurism issues stemming from his college visits last year.

Two NCAA enforcement officials visited Noel’s prep school in early August concerning his unofficial visits to Louisville, Kentucky and Syracuse. UK chief compliance office, Sandy Bell, accompanied the officials on what was the second visit to the school.

The 6-foot-10, 228-pound center from Everett, Mass. was the No. 1 player in the 2012 recruiting class. He is expected to help anchor a UK team that debuted at No. 3 in the USA Today coaches preseason poll.