John Wall: Should He Be Playing for the Kentucky Wildcats?

Stephen ClayContributor INovember 24, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 21:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the game against the Rider Broncs on November 21, 2009 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

When you look at YouTube videos, you never know if what you see is real or imagery put together by some creative sort.

Last year, while still in high school and undecided on his college choice, John Wall was plastered all over the site.  Granted, the kid is not from the New York playground, but he became a YouTube legend. With some incredible one-on-one feats that the Harlem Globetrotters would be proud of, Wall has made his make as a national sensation at an early age.

It was very clear by those who followed this kid's career that he has incredible skill and would have been either the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in last year's NBA draft. Instead, Wall went through a planned smokescreen and followed John Calipari to Kentucky.

What is Wall doing at Kentucky?

Looking back at Wall's recruitment it was pretty clear early on he was going to Memphis. All the tea leaves were there: a big fan of Derrick Rose (a player many say Wall's game resembles), a rumored connection to William Wesley (aka Worldwide Wes) and a head coach in Calipari who was developing a reputation for bringing in "one and done" caliber basketball players.  Kentucky was not even on the radar.

After Calipari switch his allegiance from Memphis to Kentucky, Wall did the same.

The issue of eligibility came into play over his association with Brian Clifton, the AAU coach Wall has played for in recent summers. Clifton was a former agent so the NCAA wanted to make sure Wall did not incur any benefit from that relationship. The findings ultimately led to Wall having to sit out meaningless games and paying back $787.58.

A kid like John Wall should not be forced to play at Kentucky, or any other school for that matter. He is old enough to earn a living and has a skill set that is highly employable. Remember my comment earlier about his draft projections?

When watching him play in games thus far for the Wildcats it is obvious he has no business playing college basketball and should be in the Association. The kid has mad game and swagger that says "you got no shot against me."

He even slipped up and made the comment "that's what they pay me to do." Even he believes he should be playing professional basketball!

Wall, and other kids coming out of high school, have the choice to either attend college, join the military or go out into society to earn a living. Every person is responsible for the success or failure of their decision. It is not for the NCAA to decide or enforce, at least not in basketball.

Just look at the very best in the NBA over the last decade. Kobe Bryant. Tracy McGrady. Kevin Garnett. LeBron James. Dwight Howard. Josh Smith. Not to mention countless others who have earned enough money in their NBA careers to exceed what many of us "normal" people earn in a lifetime with our college degrees. A kid can also go to school on their own dime through summer school or after their playing days are over.

The window as a professional athlete is short. Why take away a year of earning potential and possibly jeopardize injury?

Right now John Wall should be a millionaire playing in the FedEx Forum for Memphis, as he was supposed to from the beginning.