uk basketball

Report: Calipari violated rule by shaking player's hand

Report: UK coach congratulated player

September 17, 2011 

John Calipari's Dominican Republic National Team against a team of former UK players who are now professionals on Tuesday August 16, 2011 in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

A report surfaced Friday on a Yahoo Sports blog saying that University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari made impermissible contact with a recruit this summer.

Calipari is alleged to have shaken hands with Austin Kyles, a 6-foot-7 center from Aiken, S.C., during the ScoutsFocus Super 60 Showcase in South Carolina on July 15. The handshake came during a period in which college coaches were allowed to be present at games but not to engage in any direct contact with recruits.

Such a violation would most likely be minor in nature and might not warrant any type of sanction, the report said.

UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said Friday that the school will look into the accusation.

"The University of Kentucky considers all compliance inquiries with great importance," Peevy said in a release. "Our men's basketball staff is very knowledgeable in regards to NCAA rules and regulations and we will promptly look into this matter."

The Aiken Standard newspaper made mention of the contact in a feature story about Kyles published Aug. 13, saying, "Austin opened eyes with his work on defense. He was so good shutting down a top recruit ticketed for Kentucky, that after the game Wildcats coach John Calipari went out of his way to shake his hand and congratulate him on playing a good game."

The Prep Rally sports blog by Yahoo picked up on the story and confirmed its accuracy with Kyles' father, Tony.

Kyles' father told Prep Rally that his junior son had just had a big game against senior prospect Devonta Pollard, a noted UK target. It's not believed Kentucky is recruiting Kyles.

"After the game, Calipari shook his hand and said, 'Great game,' " Tony Kyles told Prep Rally. "I think he was just acknowledging, 'Hey, this kid is holding down my senior.' "

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