Kentucky guard Darius Miller couldn't wait to post a photo of his meeting with Jay-Z after the team clinched a berth in this year's NCAA Final Four:
|Jay-Z in Kentucky locker room after Sunday's victory.|
As exciting as this was for the team, there are some concerns here. Nothing against Jay-Z, as I would be as excited to meet him as anyone else. However, we know that he is partial owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. We also know that a few of the Kentucky freshman players are most likely "one-and-done", and will most likely declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft once this tournament run is over. So, was Jay-Z just being nice, or was he getting up close and personal with the Kentucky players to see who the Nets may draft in June? Wouldn't that be a potential violation or conflict of interest? Should the NCAA be taking a closer look at this?
Hopefully there is no funny business going on, but nothing would surprise me given coach John Calipari's track record. For those of you excited about Kentucky's Final Four appearance, remember that John Calipari also led UMass and Memphis to the Final Four, and those appearances were later vacated due to NCAA violations. Let's hope Coach Cal doesn't go 3 for 3.
UPDATE 3/31/11: Apparently this is not an NCAA violation. However, the NBA does have rules prohibiting team personnel from having contact with college players before they declare for the NBA draft, and they have launched a probe into Jay-Z's visit.
Jay-Z visits the Kentucky locker room after Sunday's victory [The Dagger]