The NCAA approved a request from the Boise State athletics department Wednesday to allow the school to provide immediate assistance to incoming football player Antoine Turner, who is currently homeless in California.
KTVB recently detailed the story of Turner, who grew up living in New Orleans and was displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He moved to California to look for stability and spent several homeless nights before finally moving in with his girlfriend’s family.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle signed with Boise State in February as a transfer from Fullerton (Calif.) College, but he is not scheduled to arrived on campus until summer school in early June. And according to KTVB, he’s recently gone homeless again.
Team spokesman Max Corbit said Wednesday the school was unaware of Turner’s recent homelessness until the story aired on KTVB because he didn’t let the coaches know anything was wrong.
After learning of his current situation, Boise State contacted the NCAA to see if there was anything they could do to help prior to his arrival on campus. And in a rare move, the NCAA responded Wednesday with a yes.
“After Boise State’s request last night, the school may provide immediate assistance to football student-athlete Antoine Turner,” the NCAA tweeted on its official Twitter account Wednesday morning.
Upon receiving Wednesday’s ruling from the NCAA, the school immediately reached out to Turner — who is still taking classes at Fullerton College — to see what type of assistance they could offer.
The extent of what Boise State is allowed to do remains uncertain, but Corbit said paying for a hotel and meals for the few weeks before Turner arrives in Boise — if he needed it — was a possible way.
Turner has dealt with several hardships during his life, including the loss of his mother to cancer when he was four and the loss of an uncle during Hurricane Katrina. KTVB also reported that he has a strained relationship with his father.
Interest in Turner’s situation quickly spread following KTVB’s story and many who became aware of it contacted the school to offer personal assistance. The school warned those not to help, reminding of possible NCAA violations that could stem from offering “extra benefits” to recruits or current players.
The school released a statement to the Idaho Press-Tribune before Wednesday’s ruling from the NCAA that said, “the only people who could help him are people with logical ties to Antoine before his story was made public.”
The school also reminded that, “Once Antoine 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.”
KTVB reported that Turner was forced out onto the streets again six weeks ago because of government subsidized housing regulations. He’s been sleeping in his girlfriend’s car in Fullerton or at a motel when he has the money.
It’s possible Boise State could bring Turner to Boise prior to the start of summer school, but those details have yet to be worked out. He is scheduled to finish classes at Fullerton on May 23.
Attempts to reach Turner were unsuccessful. Boise State coach Bryan Harsin was also unavailable for comment.