Remember Omer Yurtseven? He’s the 7-foot Turkish basketball player that Kentucky expressed some interest in last season. Yurtseven ended up going to NC State, and like Enes Kanter, has had some problems with his eligibility because he received money while playing for FenerbahÃ§e basketball club in Turkey; however, unlike Enes, he’ll actually be allowed to play this season. Today, the NCAA announced they’ve suspended Yurtseven for nine games and he will be required to pay $1,000 to the charity of his choice. After that, he’s in the clear.
What’s the difference between Yurtseven’s case and Enes’ case? Great question. Both played for FenerbahÃ§e and both received money from the club, but for some reason, Omer was ruled eligible (albeit with a nine-game suspension) and Enes was not. Omer claimed that the team paid him for the last three years, putting the money into an account they opened in his name, but that he didn’t want or ask for it. Meanwhile, Enes played for FenerbahÃ§e for the same amount of time, turned down a $6 million contract from the club when he was 16, and the NCAA ruled that because he received more money in expenses for housing, transportation, food, etc. ($33,000, about the same as tuition at a really nice prep school) than they deemed necessary, he wasn’t allowed to play college basketball. Stop me if any of this makes sense.
I’m happy for Omer Yurtseven that he’s able to play college ball, but man, I wish we could still #FreeEnes.