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By LARRY VAUGHT
When Sandy Bell says it is official, then it is official.
That’s why when CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman reported Wednesday that Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel had got a call from Bell, UK’s compliance director, telling him that he was “good to go” for the Wildcats this season it was a done deal.
Noel had to take two classes this summer after reclassifying from the 2013 to the 2012 recruiting class. He had insisted his academic work would not be a problem and Kentucky coach John Calipari had said time after time that Noel, the No. 1 recruit in the 2012 class, would be eligible and on campus in mid-August.
Good man reported that Noel took two summer classes at Everett High (Mass.)in July and received an A in English and a B-plus in history. To be eligible, Noel told Goodman he had to make at least a B in both courses.
Noel’s academic work has taken time away from honing his basketball skills this summer and some blistered him for his play at the adidas camp in California last week, but Calipari immediately said he had no doubts Noel would get in basketball shape quickly at UK and would also improve his skills quickly. Calipari also noted that NBA scouts he talked to were impressed with Noel’s play.
Bottom line: Noel is eligible and missing six to eight weeks of summer play at UK this summer is not an insurmountable hill to climb in the months ahead.