"The kid, in my mind, is an amateur," Calipari said. "He never signed anything. He played on a club over in Europe. But how they rule that thing out, I have no idea."
[...] Calipari said Kanter, who turned 18 on May 20, received only the necessary expenses while playing for the team and that Kanter's family kept "meticulous" records to protect Kanter's status should it come into question.
[...] "Obviously, one side wants him back," Calipari said. "There's four million reasons they want him back."
Calipari also discounted some of the claims by Turkish club officials regarding compensation made to Kanter.
"If you read some stuff in the newspaper, you would think, 'that's crazy,' " he said. "Well, a lot of it wasn't true."
Well, then. It's safe to say Calipari isn't letting Kanter go without a fight.
This raises the stakes a bit. For the first time since the New York Times's Pete Thamel published his interviewwith Nedim Karakas, Kanter's former general manager at Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey, someone close to the situation is discounting the GM's word. The consensus formed after the Times published its story was pretty straightforward: If Karakas was telling the truth, and he had documents to prove it, and he turned those documents over to the NCAA -- which, according to him, he did -- then it would be incredibly difficult for the NCAA to approve Kanter's eligibility. No one ever doubted Karakas' blatant motives -- he wanted Kanter back at his team, or he wanted a transfer fee from another European club for letting him go -- but the motives didn't matter. All that mattered were the documents.
If Kanter's family can present evidence to the contrary, that changes things. To be sure, the Kanter family's motives are no less biased, but they are arguably more pure: They want their son to play basketball as an amateur in America. Intense, prolonged record-keeping ... well played, Kanters. Well played.
Anyway, the end game remains the same. Calipari might succeed in changing the public narrative about Kanter's eligibility with this proclamation, but the ultimate decision will come from the NCAA clearinghouse. Whose records are better? Karakas'? Or the Kanters'? Karakas, Kanter, Karakas, Kanter: Calipari, and Kentucky fans, will hope the NCAA doesn't call the whole thing off.