Kentucky coach John Calipari in speaking last week on ESPNU regarding the Enes Kanter eligibility matter compared it to Mississippi State guard Dee Bost failing to remove his name from the NBA draft by the deadline.
"Dee Bost decided to put his name in the NBA Draft; stayed in the Draft -- meaning he was then a professional and could not come back and be an amateur. Yet, they looked at it and said, wait a minute, common sense says, we’re going to let him play, sit him out some games and let him play."
The implication from Calipari was that the NCAA was fair to Bost and that he hoped the same would happen in Kanter's case.
But according to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Calipari's comment that Bost was "a professional" did not sit well with Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury, who had contended Bost did not gain anything from withdrawing his name from the draft within 12 hours after the deadline.
"He's not a pro," Stansbury said. "... For any kind of comparison to be made, I don't think Dee is a good one to make it on."
Stansbury intercepted Calipari at Media Day to personally make that point.
Stansbury, who last season questioned whether Kentucky gets favorable treatment because of its status as a traditional basketball power, repeated that theme when asked about the Kanter case. The NCAA is reviewing the player's eligibility status in light of his having played three years for a professional team in his native Turkey.
"Everybody across the landscape of college basketball understands what that situation was," Stansbury said. "Everybody is probably waiting to see (if) Kentucky gets something, is it because, with Kentucky, something's maybe different than another school."
It could be argued, of course, that Bost had already received a form of favorable treatment.
The NCAA surprised many when it allowed Bost to retain his eligibility after a suspension. Some feared that a precedent was set for the NCAA to be more lenient regarding eligibility regulations not being followed, and Calipari certainly took notice and touched on it.
Stansbury might not have appreciated the Calipari comment, but at the end of the day, he'd also probably much prefer having the player back and being able to defend him from those labeling him a professional.