In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the University of Kentucky noted that the NCAA Eligibility Center cleared basketball player Eric Bledsoe.
The inference is that UK felt secure in playing Bledsoe this past season.
A story in the New York Times Saturday reported that the NCAA is investigating Bledsoe’s time as a high school student and player in Birmingham, Ala. In particular, the NCAA is looking into questions about Bledsoe’s academic transcript and whether a high school coach paid the rent for the player and his mother.
Those questions cast a cloud on Bledsoe’s eligibility this past season. If he were to be ruled ineligible, UK might have to forfeit victories. Such a mass forfeiture would remove UK’s distinction as the first program to reach 2,000 victories.
UK’s statement sounded similar to what the University of Memphis said when questions arose about the eligibility of Derrick Rose.
After being ruled eligible, Rose was subsequently ruled ineligible after the season. That reversal led the NCAA to order Memphis to forfeit its record 38 victories and a Final Four appearance in 2007-08.
Here is UK’s statement:
“Often high profile student-athletes are selected for an extensive prospective student-athlete (PSA) review.
“Eric Bledsoe participated in the normal academic review process and also an extensive PSA review by the NCAA Eligibility Center and was cleared academically.”