Coming off of a return to the NCAA tournament and the loss of its two top players early to the NBA Draft, the one highlight of the summer for Mark Fox and Georgia Basketball has been the anticipation for McDonald's All-American guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Now a report from the Ledger-Enquirer alleges that Caldwell-Pope received an unauthorized benefit from an AAU Basketball coach that if true will have the guard facing a potential suspension. While this report is just a single report, it never pays to be too careful in today's world where AAU scandals and resulting NCAA suspensions are becoming more normal every season. Whether we believe the report is accurate or not is irrelevant, what would be the impact?
Just last season, Baylor's Perry Jones was forced to sit out the Big 12 Conference Tournament and will miss the first five games of this season. Despite returning seniors Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson Jr to the team, Caldwell-Pope is expected to start in a three guard alignment from day one. A gifted scorer, Caldwell-Pope is expected to help take up some of the scoring load created by the absence of Thompkins and Leslie's departure.
If the report is true and Caldwell-Pope is suspended, precedent would dictate that he receive a suspension similar to that of Baylor's Jones. The basketball season is much longer than the Football and that would lesson the sting somewhat, especially if Caldwell-Pope was back in time for the conference schedule. Of course that is assuming that the NCAA would operate under precedent. When was the last time that happened?