Dominican team at crux of confusion
Prospective student-athletes why Hall cannot coach Pros
A Lexington Herald-Leader blog post on Friday reported that former Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall now will be an assistant for John Calipari on the Dominican Republic National Team against the Kentucky Pros team in an exhibition game on Aug. 15.
The blog post said that Hall and former Wildcats player Sam Bowie could not coach the Kentucky Pros because of their past affiliation with UK, and that Calipari stepped in to ask Hall to coach with him.
“It’s a little bit embarrassing,” Hall is quoted as saying. “To have Coach Calipari ask me to coach the All-Star was an honor. I was happy to do it. He’s so thoughtful and been so good to me. He’s always been very respectful and supportive, including me in everything he does. I’m happy to help him out with coaching the Dominican Republic team in any way I can.”
The blog continued: “Hall said that he thinks that he and Bowie were ‘unfairly singled out. We didn’t do anything. I don’t understand how the former players can play in the game, but we can’t coach. That makes no sense to me.’ ”
The crux of the issue is that the Dominican team has prospective student-athletes on its roster.
On Saturday the NCAA released a statement to address any confusion:
“Public speculation, fueled by inaccurate media reporting, incorrectly assumed the NCAA denied former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall the opportunity to coach in an exhibition game against the Dominican Republic.
“In reality, the University of Kentucky withdrew its involvement and association with this event due to a conflict with member-mandated NCAA bylaws. These bylaws prohibit member schools from participating in events that pay former players and raise funds to benefit teams that include prospective student-athletes.”