Homeless Football Player Can’t Get Help Thanks to the NCAA

Boise State football

Reason no. 4,363 why the NCAA is a screwed-up institution: Antoine Turner.

The 21-year-old Boise State football player has already suffered plenty in his young life, first losing his mother to cancer at age 4, then being forced to flee from his hometown of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

But everything's better now that the kid has a full-ride scholarship to a Division I school, right?

Not so much…

As recounted by Crave sports site NESN, Turner once again has found himself homeless; this time, in California.  The defensive end currently has no place to stay while taking courses at Fullerton Community College after regulations forced him to move out of his uncle's government-subsidized home. 

So, Turner doesn't have a roof over his head until he returns to Boise State June 6.  His story was told by Boise TV station KTVB, which predictably generated a ground swell of support in the the community to help the struggling student.

Unfortunately, Turner can't accept any help — thanks to the NCAA regulations governing student athletes. 

As stated by the Boise State's compliance office:

"…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."

The school goes on to say Turner will be fine once he gets to Boise and they're looking into a waiver to help him out in the meantime, but otherwise, their hands are tied by the NCAA.

In addition to Boise State's efforts, other good-hearted people looking to at least make sure Turner has a place to stay are working on ways to circumvent the NCAA's archaic and convoluted rules without putting Turner's scholarship in jeopardy.

Hey, NCAA…maybe — just MAYBE — it's time to take some active stops toward overhauling your ridiculous student athlete compensation system.  You know, before some young man suffers needlessly because of your outdated rules.