University of Kentucky Wildcats player Enes Kanter could see his NCAA in jeopardy after claims by his former team (Fenerbahce) General Manager that they player had received around 80.000 euros in various forms from the club during the three seasons he spent with them.
So According to Fenberbahce official, Nedim Karakas, who claims to have sent all proof to the NCAA upon request, Kanter have received over 80.000 euros worth of cash, bonuses etc during the three seasons he spent with the Turkish champions.
Most of the cash the player received in his third and last season with the club receiving more than 5000 euros per month as salary.
“I am sorry for telling this for Enes, but we cannot lie if someone asks the whole story, we cannot hide.” Karakas claimed.
Kanter spent last season playing in the High School League (where many teams even refused to player his school because he was on the team) and this season he chose Kentucky to start his NCAA career. However NCAA forbids players who have been professional at any point of their career to compete in NCAA.
And as Jeff Miller of Dallas News informs us through his article NCAA takes its rules very seriously:
“The idea that playing college sports is an avocation, the NCAA Management Council recently stated, remains the “bedrock principle” of the organisation. William Saum, the NCAA’s director of agent, gambling and amateurism activities, said the stricter interpretation of amateur status came at the request of the Division One constituency that originally sought to relax the rules.
This academic year, the NCAA implemented a stricter definition of amateurism in Division One and more serious penalties for schools that violate the rules. Prospective student athletes must now provide much more extensive written proof that they have not received benefits beyond expense reimbursement from club teams. And those athletes who played on a team that included anyone else defined as a professional will face either sitting out games based on how often they played as a professional or being denied NCAA eligibility altogether.
“What the appeals committee [of amateurism violations] decided was, let’s strictly enforce the rule,” Saum said. Most of the argument associated with amateurism and international student athletes comes from an athletic culture clash, particularly involving Europe. Most promising young athletes there come through a system in which organizations operate junior developmental teams and older clubs that play in what Americans would consider professional leagues.”
Prior to going to USA last year Kanter had rejected offers by Fenerbahce and Olympiacos, exactly so he could not lose his “amateur” status and be eligible to play in NCAA.
Kanter and his advisor Max Ergul have a different opinion of course and claim that Fenerbahce expenses should seen as any other pre-school expenses (scholarship which is worth around 25.000-30.000 per year in USA) and the club just covered his expenses.
Even before these latest development NCAA had yet to clear Kanter to play in some pre-season games for Kentucky last month. And right now, Kanter’s career in NCAA is looking to be stalled for a long time, if not abruptly stopped alltogether.
Fenerbahce even goes as far as claiming that the total amount Kanter received since the age of 14 is around 120.000 euros. Kanter, claimed by some to be the greatest big guy prospect world wide at the moment, was not treated as the rest youth players of the club (given food and accomodation) but because of his huge potential his family was given incentives to move from Ankara (where they lived) to Istanbul (where Fenerbahce is based) and himself was given “pocket money” of 15.000-20.000 euros per year.
Fenerbahce also says that the player’s “advisor” Max Ergul is in reality his agent (NCAA amateur players are forbidden to be represented by an agent) and according to some sources he was even Ilyasova’s agent back in 2007. Of course Ergul dismisses such scenarios.
Kanter’s target was to play a year of college ball and then become a lottery pick in 2011 NBA draft, but right now he could be made to move back to Europe for the season and try his luck in NBA next summer, or even later. And that what Karakas thinks would be most suitable for the player with some cynicism:
“I don’t believe that Enes will be a very good student at school in the States,” he said. “He won’t be a hard worker. I know. I know his fundamentals for school. We know the education that he had before and what he did here in Turkey. But he’s a very hot prospect for basketball.”