Joker Phillips demonstrated last week how to make a fair and just decision for a college studentathlete with dispatch. Did the NCAA cops notice Kentucky’s football coach’s justice? Swiftly and move on.
For Enes Kanter, justice delayed is justice denied. The NCAA’s dawdle and dance-around is contrary to its call on Auburn’s Cam Newton.
Here’s an idea for the deciders in Indy.
Telephone University of Kentucky Athletics compliance officer. Request fax detailing current academic transcript for 2010-11 freshman Enes Kanter — course load, daily schedule, class attendance, automobile model, registration and driver’s license and current residence.
UK should have ready a notarized confirmation that teenager Kanter said NO to a Turkish professional team’s alleged $6 million off er.
If Kanter’s records are satisfactory, the NCAA asks UK compliance to submit a signed affidavit affirming two things.
1. Kanter’s father has dispatched a $33,000 personal check to Nedim Karakas, general manager of Fenerbahce professional team.
2. And, young Kanter signs a good faith agreement that he intends to be a student-athlete at University of Kentucky for three years.
In lieu of favorable NCAA rulings for student athletes Renardo Sidney at Mississippi State, Cam Newton at Auburn, Josh Selby at Kansas, Kanter is declared eligible immediately.
Following a Hoosierland sweep last week — Irish and IU — John Calipari was not satisfied with his (7-2) team. A goodly number of UK’s gazillion assistant coaches would agree.
A few good, not-so-good and gotta-get-better observations.
• DeAndre Liggins. If there was a Jeff Sheppard Whatever-It-Takes Award, the 6-6 Chicagoan gets it along with a salute for growing up, become his team’s lunch bucketand hard hat guy. Who was the person who suggested two years ago Liggins should leave? (blush)
• Cowboy Up — Josh Harrellson has stepped up to Free Enes chants, made them a personal crusade toward Enes Who?
• Rookie Terrence Jones is to this team what Liggins was to his in 2008. Inflated expectations, scowls and pouts sandwiched around 74 turnovers. Seeing one then the other grow up together is the fun part.
• Nine assists, against Indiana, won’t feed the bulldog.
• Neither will UK’s 36 percent shooting away from Rupp Arena. Hoosiers had more field goals, 23- 22, Kentucky shot 44 free throws to 16 for IU. Wink.
• Yum Center has been yummy . . . with three more cupcakes coming up before, well . . . you know.
• Louisville at Western Kentucky three days before Christmas is like old times when the game was for fans. Could it be better? Yes indeed. If Bernard ‘Peck’ Hickman (Central City) and Ed Diddle (Gradyville) were around to take a standing-room-only bow.
• Cardinals are 1-0 in varsity games, 8-0 scrimmaging Christmas turkeys. But Rick Pitino plays 12 deep, which keeps scholarship boys into the game and/or hungry for more playing time (see Preston Knowles).
• Rout of ranked UNLV and Kentucky’s stampede over IU sets Yum Center stage for another epic collision that could sell 100,000 tickets New Year’s Eve.
• And yes, Rick Pitino should be a shoo-in for Hall of Fame induction.
News & Views
NEWS. Joker Phillips’s Operation Win can’t get worse than a break-even disappointment, right? Wrong!
VIEW. Sending a new quarterback against a favored Pittsburgh team bent on winning one for its lame duck coach could mean a 6-7 finish.
Consolation? Commonwealth Stadium renovations are coming, but no ticket price increase for UK fans, right? If Mitch Barnhart tries a price hike for 2011 he could be jailed for inciting a riot.
NEWS. Hot teams not named Duke that nobody should want to play right now — Tennessee (8-1), Illinois (10-1) and Louisville (8-0).
VIEW. As of Dec. 12, the Volunteers, Illini and Cardinals had a aggregate unbeaten streak of 22 wins.
NEWS. Urban Meyer, 46, coached a national title team, earned accolades and stepped down at Florida last week saying he wants to do other things.
VIEW. Bravo! Better scenario? If Meyer took Brett Favre with him.
NEWS. Florida has a new football coach, Will Muschamp.
VIEW. Charlie Strong’s name surfaced then disappeared before a second Tom Jurich press conference. Practice for next time.
NEWS. Perfect punctuation mark on Kentucky’s break-even football season? A 6-feet-6 exclamation mark, Mike Hartline.
VIEW. But then, who among us has not had a brain hiccup at 3 o’clock in the morning? Next!
Prep Football Wow Factor
KHSAA figures — average near 8,000 tickets sold for playoff games in Bowling Green. Considering the economy and Christmas obligations, one word will do. Wow!
Despite criticism for expanding to six classifications, the popularity (and profits) for prep football in Kentucky appears robust. So . . .
• Bowling Green wants the playoff s back next year.
• Bonus layer — players and coach statistics that three decades ago were unrecorded or ignored, are what-if bridges to a new season.
1. Heading to 2011 all-time rushing record holder Derek Homer will return Central High’s Anthony Wales to a spotlight. He is within 3,000 yards of Homer’s high mark.
2. Coaches. Bell County’s Dudley Hilton tied Bob Schneider for most high school coaching wins, 345, then moved to Pikeville College. Phillip Haywood at Belfry is within range of passing both.
Football popularity in Kentucky has earned a new Wow Factor.
Crusader J. Bruce Miller
Synonym for tenacity? Here’s one with four syllables, J. Bruce Miller.
A Louisville barrister, Miller has doggedly clung to the idea of a National Basketball Association franchise in Louisville since Jerry Abramson was a kid working in the family grocery store.
So, Louisville’s Metro Council has spent 60 grand to loose Don Quixote, uh, Miller, on the NBA hierarchy again. Lobbying for a franchise in River City even as David Stern has turned $ights toward European and/or Asian markets.
Miller says he has deep-pocket investors. Louisville coach Rick Pitino says it won’t be enough. Fans won’t pay NBA ticket prices, Pitino says, let alone pony up millions more for corporate suites in Freedom Hall. And UofL controls Yum Center schedules.
NBA ticket prices? I checked Indiana Pacer price ranges: On or near the floor, $173.77; lower arena level: $60.35; balcony: $37.03. One ticket.
Earth To Hartline
Three o’clock in the morning? Two days before final exams, week and 48 hours before start of bowl game practice? UK ex-quarterback Mike Hartline will learn.
Here’s an idea, kid. Get back to your kinesiology studies at UK. And, buy a copy of Marilyn vos Savant’s: The Power of Logical Thinking.
And so it goes. You may reach Bob Watkins at