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The NCAA shows it has a Pulse

Below you’ll find a post I wrote this morning bashing the NCAA for being the most evil villain of all-time by forcing a Boise State football recruit to remain homeless.  There’s a lot more to it than that (go ahead and read below) but just before this post was set to publish, the NCAA announced, “the school may provide immediate assistance to football student-athlete Antoine Turner.”  Mark Emmert’s heart grew three sizes today.

Yesterday we found out the NCAA is anti-jersey chaser, today we have discovered they’re also pro-homeless.

Antoine Turner is a 6’3″ 280 lb. defensive end committed to play at Boise State this Fall but until summer classes start June 6, Turner is without a home.  Turner has overcome unbelievable odds to get on the right track.  After his story was told by Boise’s KTVB, numerous alumni reached out to give the man a place to stay for the month, but NCAA rules forbid it and could make Turner ineligible.

It isn’t nothing new to Turner, who has lived the majority of his life as a drifter.  His mother died when he was four, straining the relationship with his father before taking to the streets of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.  Hurricane Katrina made things even worse, taking whatever he had left.  He soon became involved with gangs, gaining protection for using his size to be a drug mule.  It was a scary situation, but sports were his saving grace.  He was good enough to play Division I, but he didn’t have the grades, taking him to Fullerton Junior College in California.

Turner went to California with “a suitcase and a dream,” but it wasn’t a California dream.  Turner was living on a park bench and lost 70 pounds during the struggle.  His saving grace was his girlfriend’s family, who took him in as one of their own.  Unfortunately her family lives in government housing, with regulations forbidding the family to support Turner during his final month before school.  As Boise State alumni tried to step in to help Turner, the Boise State compliance office released this statement: (h/t Deadspin)

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.

Turner has been able to overcome New Orleans gang life and one of North America’s worst natural disasters, but the buck stops at Mark Emmert.

I highly suggest you take a look at the original piece linked above.  His story of survival is truly amazing and will make you appreciate what you have. 

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

10 Comments for The NCAA shows it has a Pulse

  1. TheDecker
    6:20 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    So basically, the NCAA has no idea how to use common sense and cannot run itself. It has to rely on strong public scrutiny to make reasonable decisions. How many times in the past year have they made completely bogus decisions, only to reverse the decision after feeling backlash from the public?

  2. Go Antione
    6:34 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    This story absolutely broke my heart! I pray that he succeeds and reaches his dreams. The NCAA should be ashamed…..again. Glad they relented and decided to let people help him.

  3. Grind that axe
    6:45 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    If I understand what has taken place correctly this is just another example of a KSR writer’s complete lack of objectivity. The NCAA rule in place obviously wasn’t intended to make anyone homeless nor was it written by evil prophets to hamstring this kid years down the road from the initial enactment of the rule. A rule, by the way, which is probably the most basic and obvious of all rules put in place by the NCAA: that boosters, donors and the like cannot offer housing, money, food, etc. to any player. It kind of is the very definition of amateurism. It is also a rule which would be more than a little difficult to write with exceptions such as “unless the student-athlete involved is a former drug mule coming out of the gang life who has been forced to live on the streets”. Instead the organization offers certain waivers to be decided on on a case by case basis which is exactly what seems to have happened here. With all the details in place the NCAA made a sound and reasonable judgement to allow the assistance for an appropriate amount of time yet instead of complimenting the organization for working within it’s own rules to help the kid out you attack and demean its leadership. I don’t really care about your opinion of Emmert or the NCAA and you may have valid reasons to dislike both but this case is literally the antithesis to a sound reason for that dislike. You don’t come off as some rabble rousing activist so much as a disingenuous, prejudiced hack.

    • Grind that axe
      6:56 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      Pardon my misstatement towards the end. A rabble rouser is exactly what you come off as in this situation.

    • shooter
      7:01 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      You have too much time on your hands. PRICK

    • schwing
      8:41 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      providing basic essentials that all humans deserve turns someone from an amateur to a professional?

  4. shooter
    6:59 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Let’s all pray it works out for Antoine Turner.

  5. Grind that axe
    7:34 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Perhaps you’re right shooter that I do indeed have too much time on my hands. Time I fritter away analyzing the actual story and the real details when I could just unfairly demonize individuals and organizations and move on with my day. Silly me. SHEEP.

    • Cringing journalist
      8:48 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      Or you could just write really poor posts, using phrasing like “It isn’t nothing new to Turner,”, or “gaining protection for using his size to be a drug mule”. We learn that “sports were his saving grace”…but no apparently “His saving grace was his girlfriend’s family,”. I mean really, just pick a saving grace and stick to it. Lol, interesting story turned into drivel. And yes, Grind, you are correct. Another manufactured outrage. NCAA is broken on so many levels, but the intent of the rule is correct and the waiver granted to Turner is the way it should be handled.

  6. Craig Sager's Suits
    1:42 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

    Hey Emmert, give this kid a break and let him get some help. It’s abundantly clear he wants to go to school and better himself but does not have the necessary means to make it prior to arriving on campus. Grant Boise State a waiver or treat it like a normal student getting a student loan and he has to pay it back at some point later on, if necessary.