Kentucky Wildcats freshman Nerlens Noel has been cleared by the NCAA to participate in practices and games, according to USA Today Sports. Wildcats head coach John Calipari was interviewed on ESPN's SportsCenter Wednesday morning when he was asked by Hannah Storm about Noel's eligibility:
"He's cleared to practice and cleared to play in games. ... Everything is good to go," the coach said.
NCAA spokesman Bob Williams confirmed that Noel was cleared in an e-mail to USA Today Sports. The questions about Noel's eligibility centered around activities during Noel's recruitment, including how he paid for unofficial campus visits.
Kentucky was ranked No. 3 in the first USA Today Sports coaches' poll and will open the season on Nov. 9 against the Maryland Terrapins at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Noel, chosen as USA Today Sports's national player of the year in 2012, chose the Wildcats in April after reclassifying to be in the class of 2012. Last year for Tilton High School in New Hampshire, Noel averaged 12.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game.