In case it isn’t already as clear as the air around Mark Emmert’s butthole as he blissfully sniffs his own farts into his cash-lined lungs, a lot of the NCAA’s rules suck. When you have players openly admitting that they go to bed hungry or getting into trouble because they want to make a few bucks off of the imaginary value of their own signature, there’s a problem with the way things are being interpreted and decided by an organization that makes billions of dollars off of “student-athletes” who are “paid” in scholarships, some meals and the opportunity to audition for professional sports leagues. Obviously, people disagree with that line of thinking and truly believe that those student-athletes earn plenty in comparison to their classmates, and it’s an endless argument with valid points on both sides.
However, the story of new Boise State Broncos running back Antoine Turner has actually proven that the NCAA, or at least some of the people who make the decisions within, has at least a shred of a soul. Idaho’s KTVB ran a story about Turner on Sunday that revealed that the running back from Fullerton College is actually homeless right now, as he awaits his junior college graduation on May 23 and the start of his classes at Boise State on June 9. Naturally, once the KTVB story aired and it was picked up by Deadspin, USA Today, Bleacher Report and now this juggernaut of animal GIFs, Boise State fans and just people in general wanted to donate to Turner so he didn’t have to wonder where he’d sleep each night until his room and board became available at his new school.
Enter the NCAA’s rules on impermissible benefits and Boise State’s compliance department:
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. (Via KTVB)
Outrage! Torches and pitchforks! Smarmy sports bloggers writing about Mark Emmert sniffing his own farts! And all of it while a guy who is trying to leave a pretty messed up life behind him – seriously read that story from Sunday and try to watch all of the videos if they actually work for you – doesn’t have a place to sleep, other than his girlfriend’s car. And it wasn’t just the NCAA’s stupid rules that were stopping Turner from being able to sleep on someone’s couch in Boise for a few weeks, since regulations forced him from his girlfriend’s uncle’s government subsidized home in the first place.
Well, as is becoming a time-honored way of getting things done, the outrage and extra attention has worked. The NCAA Tweeted this afternoon that Boise State’s request to assist Turner immediately has been approved.
What’s most amazing about this, though, is that throughout it all, Turner had a hell of a positive perspective on it all.
“I spent a lot of time laying and sleeping with those lights on – so every time when those lights come on when I’m on the football field, it reminds me like I’m sleeping back on the bench,” Turner said.
“It’s not over though. I understanding it’s not over. I feel like I owe Boise because they gave me something that I ain’t never had before. That’s why I always say, I’m bring all the pain and everything I have with me,” Turner explained.
“It’s time to eat. It’s time to eat. And I’m hungry too.” (Via KTVB)
It’s going to be hard not to pull for Boise State and this guy next season.