Wall cleared to play by NCAA

Freshman point guard John Wall has been certified to play by the NCAA. Wall will have to pay back all expenses and will also have to sit out two games; the Cats’ exhibition opener against Campbellsville on Nov. 2 and their regular season opener against Morehead State on Nov. 13.

Wall’s eligibility issues stemmed from his AAU coach Brian Clifton being a former certified agent with FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, for a year.

“I’m grateful to have this decision behind me,” Wall said in a news release. “All I ever wanted was to go to school and play ball with my team. This has been really hard for my mom and I want to thank her for her support during the process.”

According to the release, the repayment expenses include a total of $787.58. The expenses came predominantly from travel incurred during Wall’s unofficial visits to various schools during his junior year in high school at Word of God Christian Academy.

Per NCAA rules, Wall will repay the money to the charity of his choice. He chose to give the money to the Hope Center to assist with Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless.

“We’re appreciative of the process and the NCAA’s willingness to listen,” said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart in the release. “The NCAA staff worked to keep the welfare of the student-athlete in mind throughout this process. I’m happy for Coach Calipari and John Wall that he will get a chance to represent the Wildcats this season. He’s a great young man and deserves to be able to concentrate fully on his academics and basketball.

Wall was one of five freshmen named to the Naismith Preseason watch list on Friday. Junior forward Patrick Patterson was also named to the list.

Wall had 25 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in 39 minutes of action in the Cats’ Blue-White Game on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.