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By LARRY VAUGHT
If you want to know something, just ask. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always been my philosophy.
Since questions have been raised here Ã¢â‚¬â€ and at other sites Ã¢â‚¬â€ about the academic eligibility of certain Kentucky basketball players, I felt the only fair thing to do was ask the University of Kentucky officials about the situation. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I e-mailed DeWayne Peevy, UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s associate athletic director for media relations, with this question: Have all newcomers been cleared academically or are some still waiting for NCAA verification?
Peevy always tries to answer questions correctly and promptly. Here is his reply: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Unfortunately, we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t comment on the academic status of any student-athlete. We would announce if any student-athlete was not available for competition at that appropriate time.Ã¢â‚¬Â
No, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really not an answer but Peevy is also limited about what information he can release Ã¢â‚¬â€ and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really no guaranteed way to tell if any athlete is eligible until the season starts. However, if you look at the official UK website and check out the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basketball roster, it still has 13 scholarship players listed and no names missing.
We know the incoming freshmen did well in summer school classes because coach John Calipari said so. We know junior college transfer Darnell Dodson is now on campus and taking classes.
So it appears all is well in UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s academic world Ã¢â‚¬â€ or if it is not we may not know until the Cats start playing in November.
* * *
Calipari did several interviews in New York Thursday promoting his new book and answered a variety of questions.
On the Dennis & Callahan show, he was asked this question: If Memphis was a step up from UMass and New Jersey was in between and Kentucky is a step up from Memphis, what is a step up from Kentucky? His answer: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think the jobs in our profession that earn the most whatever you want to say are Notre Dame football, Yankee baseball, you have to say Boston Red Sox baseball, you have to say the Dallas Cowboys, the Manchester whatever in England. So, I think I have one of those positions.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Kentucky fans certainly would agree.
* * *
I doubt that Lane Kiffin will still be coaching at Tennessee when the series starts, but the new coachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s connections to Southern Cal may have played a role in the Vols reaching a verbal agreement to face USC in 2021`and 2022.
I just hope Kentucky has a win over Tennessee by then.