Josh Harrellson, the senior forward who helped take Kentucky to the Final Four, saw his role on team grow when the NCAA ruled freshman Enes Kanter permanently ineligible for accepting impermissible benefits.
Not only did Harrellson disagree with the ruling, but also he apparently thinks a double standard involving Kentucky and coach John Calipari had something to do with it.
Larry Vaught of The Advocate-Messenger asked Harrellson if he thought "the NCAA stuck it to Kanter because he was at Kentucky" playing for Calipari, and this was Harrellson's response:
"I think they did. I think if he had gone to Washington where he originally committed, he would have been playing all year. I think since he went to Kentucky and was playing for coach Cal and nobody wants us to get back to where Kentucky used to be, they took it out on him."
The notion that Kanter would not have been ruled permanently ineligible had he attended Washington instead isn't a new one. Dick Vitale has talked about it, and the NCAA has vehemently denied that Kanter was treated differently because he plays for Calipari at Kentucky.
Here's what NCAA president Mark Emmert, the former president at Washington told Seth Davis after the ruling was upheld in January in reponse to that particular charge:
"Not to put too fine a point on it, but that's ridiculous," he said. "By all accounts this is a very talented basketball player, but yet there were very few schools recruiting him. Why was that? Because everyone understood that there was a very large probability that he was not going to be deemed eligible. This has nothing to do with Kentucky or Coach Calipari. It has to do with a clear rule and a clear set of facts."
Harrellson, who recently began selling pairs of jean shorts on his website in honor of his nickname "Jorts," has his opinions. The NCAA has its stance -- the one that counts in the end.
That the discussion remains relevant in Kentucky four months after Kanter was banned for a player on the team that went to the Final Four speaks to how strong the perception of bias is.