Nerlens Noel Investigation: Kentucky Wildcats Should Tremble over NCAA Inquiry

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2012

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

The defending champion Kentucky Wildcats should be very fearful of the NCAA inquiring about top recruit Nerlens Noel. Should anything happen with his eligibility, the Wildcats will be in deep trouble this coming season. 

According to Pete Thamel of the New York Times, two members of the NCAA enforcement staff visited Massachusetts to learn more about the people that Noel has surrounded himself with over the years. 

The two officials spoke with the principal from Noel's old high school, but he was not allowed to comment on specifics. They also inquired about some of Noel's advisers and his finances, as the some of the schools he unofficially visited did not pay for his travels.  

Another issue for Noel at this time is whether or not he will qualify academically. The report states that nation's No. 1 recruit "is expected to take course work after graduation to help him qualify." 

Right now, John Calipari and the rest of Big Blue Nation need to fear for the worst. 

Noel is very vital to the Wildcats' success next season, and if he's unable to play then Kentucky will have another Enes Kanter on its hands. A stud athlete sitting on the bench unable to play but highly likely to depart to the NBA after one year. 

Of course, it's a different story than Kanter, but it would still be incredibly devastating for the Wildcats to lose a dominant big man for a significant amount of time. Here the Wildcats think they're about to embark on a quest to repeat as champs, but without Noel that will not happen. 

It remains a mystery if anything will come of this inquiry, but the fact that it's going on is certainly cause for concern. 

Calipari has a history with his recruits being involved in controversy, and Kentucky was well aware of this before it hired him. The Wildcats received criticism by some for hiring him, saying that he would cheat and their wins would be tarnished. 

There's no proof of that and hopefully Calipari isn't going against the rules. It doesn't appear Calipari has a hand with any of this at the moment, but you never really know until all the of the truth comes out. 

Even if Noel is ineligible for any games next year it's a crushing blow for the Wildcats. It looks really bad on the program if they continue to have star players unable to play for the entire season. 

This is definitely a story to keep a watch on, as Noel's eligibility will determine whether or not Kentucky is a major threat next year. 

Stay tuned with Bleacher Report and our college basketball coverage as we update you with the news as it comes.  



Follow E_ROCK12 on Twitter