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Kentucky center Kanter ineligible

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The NCAA ruled Kentucky freshman center Enes Kanter permanently ineligible to play for the Wildcats, though the school will appeal the decision.

The NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff decided the 6-foot-11 Kanter received benefits above his actual and necessary expenses while playing for a club basketball team in Turkey. The NCAA defines actual and necessary expenses as those directly necessary for practice and competition on a team.

The NCAA ruled Kanter received more than $33,000 above his necessary expenses for the 2008-09 season.

"Enes took advantage of an opportunity to play at the highest level available to him, but the consequences of receiving payments above his actual expenses is not compatible with the collegiate model of sports that our members have developed," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs.

Kentucky coach John Calipari had no immediate comment but has stated repeatedly he believed Kanter maintained his amateur status. Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said the school will appeal because of the "uniqueness" surrounding Kanter's situation.

"It is our hope that he will be allowed to continue his academic and athletic career at Kentucky," Barnhart said.

Kanter spent last season at Stoneridge Preparatory School in Simi Valley, Calif., before signing with Kentucky, where he was expected to fill a hole in the middle left by DeMarcus Cousins' departure for the NBA. Now that job will fall to senior Josh Harrelson, junior college transfer Eloy Vargas and freshman forward Terrence Jones.

The 11th-ranked Wildcats open the season today against East Tennessee State.

Indiana: Washington High standout Cody Zeller announced he will play for the Hoosiers and coach Tom Crean. "Growing up in Indiana, I think it will mean a lot for me playing in this state," said Zeller, a 6-foot-10 senior who is ranked among the top 20 players in the nation. Zeller, whose brother Luke played at Notre Dame and brother Tyler plays at North Carolina, is expected to play forward. He chose Indiana over Butler and North Carolina.

Minnesota: Coach Tubby Smith suspended guard Devoe Joseph, the Golden Gophers' most versatile offensive player, indefinitely for a violation of unspecified team rules. They open at home tonight against NCAA Tournament team Wofford and face Siena on Monday before leaving for a tournament in Puerto Rico that includes West Virginia and North Carolina.

Villanova: Freshman forward JayVaughn Pinkston, who was named New York's player of the year, was charged by Upper Merion Township Police with two counts of simple assault and harassment, and will be held out of games until a university review is complete. Pinkston, who will be allowed to practice with the team, was involved in a weekend altercation that led to an assault report. Villanova opens the season today against Bucknell.

Kentucky center Kanter ineligible 11/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:49pm]

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