Kentucky Basketball: John Calipari Says Nerlens Noel Cleared to Play

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

Oct 11, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3)  talks to reporters during media day at Memorial Coliseum. Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

In news that will make everyone in or around Rupp Arena rest a little easier, Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari was on ESPN's SportsCenter (via Wildcat Blue Nation) today and said that star recruit Nerlens Noel is cleared to play games. 

"He’s been cleared to practice, cleared to play games. Everything is good to go."

After Calipari made his statement, the NCAA decided to make Noel's fate official. In an e-mail to USA Today, an NCAA spokesman said that the star recruit is able to participate in team activities. 

NCAA spokesman Bob Williams confirmed that in an email to USA TODAY Sports. "Nerlens Noel is cleared to practice and compete," Williams wrote.

According to Rivals.com, Noel was the No. 2 recruit in the country. He ultimately decided to go to Kentucky after entertaining offers from Syracuse and Georgetown. 

Noel has essentially been under investigation by the NCAA since the day he decided to sign with Kentucky. 

According to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, the NCAA expanded its investigation into Noel's recruitment and possible benefits that he may have received during visits to the campus back in August. 

It wouldn't be a John Calipari team if there wasn't some kind of controversy hovering over him and the program. He has proven himself to be a great coach, but he often finds himself in the NCAA crosshairs.