NCAA clears Noel to play

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky freshman forward Nerlens Noel has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season for the Wildcats.

NCAA spokesman Cameron Schuh said Wednesday the 6-foot-10, 228-pound Noel was "cleared to practice and play" following a probe into the funding of unofficial visits to Kentucky.

Schuh did not provide any details or findings of the NCAA's investigation.

Before Wednesday's decision, Noel, considered the nation's top recruit, could only practice after finishing summer classes to meet reclassification requirements.

Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy said via text that the school does not confirm eligibility until competition begins.

The Wildcats open Nov. 9 against Maryland in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kentucky coach John Calipari first revealed Noel's status during a Wednesday morning appearance on ESPN promoting tonight's debut of the network's all-access program about the Wildcats.


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