While pondering the appeal the University of Kentucky will make on behalf of freshman Enes Kanter, I stumbled upon an encouragement statistic that seems too good to be true.
The NCAA website includes a feature called “Behind the Blue Disk on student-athlete reinstatement. A look behind the blue disk included the factoid that the NCAA receives more than 1,000 reinstatement requests each year. Of those, nearly 99 percent of the requests result in the athlete being reinstated.
That would suggest that UK should expect Kanter’s eligibility to be restored. On Thursday, the NCAA announced that he would be permanently ineligible.
The problem for UK is that the Kanter case is complex, involving a foreign professionial team, two languages and who knows what other issues? Most of the 99 percent of reinstatements are for much smaller violations such as accepting a ride from a booster or having to pay back a $300 loan or a relatively small extra benefit (for example, a booster paying for dinner).
According to the NCAA announcement on Thursday, Kanter’s case involving $33,033 of compensation from the Turkish pro team that go beyond the permitted “actual and necessary” expenses a player can receive and retain amateur status.
Of course, it seems UK fans will know the outcome of the Kanter appeal by the first week of December. UK is hoping Kanter’s friendly and winning personality will persuade the reinstatement committee that his eligibilty should be restored.