Boise State fans can’t help homeless player Antoine Turner because of NCAA rules

Antoine-TurnerBoise State recruit Antoine Turner is currently homeless. He will not be officially enrolled at Boise State until he arrives on campus in June, so he is left to stay at motels and in his girlfriend’s car until the school year begins. And if you want to help him out, well, you can’t — NCAA rules prohibit it.

A segment that was aired on Boise’s KTVB 11 on Sunday evening documented Turner’s story, explaining to viewers how he stayed with his girlfriend last year while playing at Fullerton Junior College in California. He later moved in with his uncle but can no longer stay with him because of government housing regulations.

As you might expect, the story touched the hearts of many. Realizing that, the Boise State compliance office asked KTVB to air a memo urging fans to not provide Turner with any benefits.

We need to make it clear to your viewers and Bronco fans that it is NOT permissible within NCAA rules for boosters of Boise State athletics to provide benefits to Mr. Turner. That would include money, loans, gifts, discounts, transportation costs, etc.

While Mr. Turner’s need is abundantly clear, it is not permissible for Boise State, the athletics department or supporters of the athletics department to assist Mr. Turner at this time. Once Mr. Turner arrives on campus for the start of the summer school program, he will be well taken care of–receiving full tuition, room and board, books, fees etc. In the meantime, the compliance office is exploring a potential waiver with the NCAA that would allow us to provide assistance prior to the start of summer school.

And this is why everyone hates the NCAA.

“I ain’t never really had no blanket or nothing like that,” Turner told KTVB, explaining that at one point he had to sleep on park benches. “So I could either lay across this or I would sit (with my arms folded) and lay my head down. I constantly wake up, look around, make sure everything was good.”

Turner’s mother died of cancer when he was four, which he says left a “big hole” in his heart. After Hurricana Katrina virtually destroyed his hometown of New Orleans, Turner began running drugs for gang members just to survive.

“They had some big guys running New Orleans’ streets, and they’d ask me to take this from point A to point B,” he explained. “It would be anything for narcotics, weed, anything they just put in my bag. Sometimes I wouldn’t even look because I’d be scared.

“I’d do that just for protection so I wouldn’t get hurt. So my family wouldn’t get hurt.”

Hopefully the NCAA will approve Boise State’s waiver request and do so in a timely fashion. They have already offered Turner a scholarship, and his unique situation should allow him to become a part of the Boise State family as soon as possible. All rules have exceptions.

UPDATE: The NCAA said Wednesday that Boise State can begin helping Turner.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Around The Web

  • SpinMax

    If his amateur status is ruined due to ncaa rules, it will be an intense backlash

  • kieraeastedi321

    before I looked at the draft 4 $9760 , I have faith
    that…my… sister could realie erning money part-time from there computar. .
    there sisters neighbour haz done this for less than ten months and resantly
    paid the debts on their home and purchased a brand new Lancia Straton . check
    out here F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • GirlsLoveFootball

    I wholeheartedly agree with the intent of the article…and that this is a terrible situation. But then I read the quote ‘I ain’t never really had no blanket or nothing like that’ and I cringed. Congrats, Boise State admissions officers. A fine selection.

  • normmiller

    It’s easy to see the bad in someone, so realizing the NCAA isn’t perfect is going to be an easy hurdle. I’m just glad this kid has some real opportunities to get a class AA+ education at a university who’s willing to see the good in everyone. Good on ya Boise State! Way to see beyond the Blue! Good on the NCAA for realizing that there is a need for an exception in any scenario. Not so good on the young lady who wants to critique this young man’s speech and the quality of his ability to play based on that, or the quality of the young man himself. But I guess there’s a jerk in every crowd.

  • Nmc1496

    Wow – judge much? I’m sure that every line that you have said – has been totally correct, right? Have you ever had national public scrutiny? Have you ever had microphones put in your face? You have no idea if the quote was “accurate” or if it was just a journalist making their story appear just a little bit more interesting….

  • GirlsLoveFootball

    I appreciate your perspective, but I doubt the journalist did such a thing, given the point of the article was to solicit sympathy. And I have loads for the kid, and I wish him well. I hope he has a great future. I think my point is clear and valid and intentionally misunderstood. I want people to jump up and down and write stories for kids in need who can’t play football…but are trying to get into college to based on academic achievement. Antoine Turner is getting a scholarship, but was initially rejected from Boise State because of his poor grades. Something left out because the journalist wanted it more interesting.

  • GirlsLoveFootball

    I don’t think I am attacking Mr. Turner…or being a jerk. You can see my reply above and my thoughts on his grades (not mentioned in the article). But thanks for the name calling.

  • Nmc1496

    Well, a major college (I’m not from Boise State, btw) cannot admit a player who doesn’t qualify somehow.. I can guarantee that they haven’t done anything “questionable” academically considering the scrutiny that they knew that they would receive from the NCAA over this student…. (or all of the administration would be out of a job)

  • Jeanne Kennedy

    Shame on you!! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Have you been homeless since you were 4 years old with no one to teach you anything? If so,you might understand.

  • GirlsLoveFootball

    I don’t think you have any idea what my point is. But thank you, and God Bless.

  • Jeanne Kennedy

    Explain yourself then.

  • ben curry

    You sound like your educated, too bad you didn’t learn anything.

  • Jeanne Kennedy

    My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to have much schooling, were more intelligent and more educated than some college professors.
    Maya Angelou.