Dana O’Neil at ESPN is reporting that a “source” with knowledge of NCAA rules thinks that the questions of Bledsoe’s eligibility could have an impact on UK, leading to forfeited games or even a vacated season. This “source” (my guess? Pat Forde has been suspiciously silent on the subject to now-and let’s face it, anyone with enough time on their hands can become and expert on the NCAA rules) suggests that the recent change in rules regarding benefits and the addition of people associated with a prospect to the list of ineligible gift receipients could spell trouble for the Cats.
However, another source close to Andy Katz implies that UK is not concerned about his eligiblity. O’Neil uses recent cases involving Renardo Sidney and Derrick Rose as precedence for the kind of action the NCAA could take. She cites 4 criteria the NCAA uses to assess the benefits:
– Did the relationship develop as a result of the athlete’s participation in athletics?
– Did the relationship predate the athlete’s status as a prospect?
– Did the relationship predate the athlete’s status achieved as a result of their athletics ability/reputation?
– Was the pattern of benefits provided before the athlete’s notoriety similar to those provided after?
Matt has written two exhaustive pieces on the topic that you can find here and here. In all, this is an unfortunate situation that it seems would have been impossible to avoid given the knowledge that UK and the NCAA looked long and hard at Bledsoe’s eligibility and deemed it appropriate to play him. And, as Matt has acknowledged, it seems that though these alegations could potentially apply to most recruits playing today, there is a harsher microscope for Calipari and the program. Whether or not any of this is true or whether it leads to any sanctions, the fact remains that as long as Calipari is here and the program is relevent, the BBN will have their hands full with the leeches of other fanbases using this as “proof” of our dirtiness.