Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Report Says Kanter Took 100K

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IISeptember 8, 2010

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 14:  The Wildcat, mascot for the Kentucky Wildcats waves a giant UK flag as he performs against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the final of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 14, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A report in the New York Times cites a Turkish basketball official claiming that top prospect Enes Kanter received between $100,000 and $150,000 playing for a professional team (Fenerbahce) in Turkey.

The report states that Nedim Karakas, the general manager of the club team has indicated that records and documents from the club have been forwarded to the NCAA, though no records were made available to media.

If this information is accurate, the onus falls on Kentucky to verify whether payments, including alleged salary payments, were in fact made. In addition to housing expenses, Kanter was said to have received $6,500 per month in salary.

This type of revelation is difficult to ignore for the NCAA. What is also difficult to ignore is that the Turkish Federation is leveraging this kid as well. Let's face it, everyone wants him, not because of his advanced footwork, but because of the short-term economic benefit he brings.

Kentucky puts itself right into the mix for another SEC title and March run with Kanter. Fenerbahce, unhappy because he left after their commitment to his development, stands to make a big profit should Kanter turn pro in Europe (which he likely will) by getting "transfer" fees from the club that signs him.

Kanter is not here is because of his love for Kentucky, but because he wants to play in the NBA, not in a professional league in Europe, and playing top-level college ball in front of men who routinely decide who can play in the NBA and who can't is certainly the express route to getting there.

I am all for anyone getting the chance to play college ball at the highest level. I am all for having the highest possible level of competition as well. But if this guy was paid to play, or, if anyone else was for that matter, there really shouldn't be much of a decision to make.