A local Idaho news station aired a segment on Boise State football player Antoine Turner, and his rough journey from New Orleans to the team. Turner's currently homeless, and Broncos fans who learned about his story want to help, but the university is discouraging that generosity, because it could fall under an NCAA violation.
KTVB furnished the feature on Turner, describing his difficult life. His mother died of cancer when he was four, and he and his father weren't close. Turner was in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina, eventually ending up in California at a junior college, living with his girlfriend and her family before moving in with his uncle. Due to government housing regulations, Turner can't stay at his uncle's place, and he isn't going to Boise State for summer school until June 6. So, he's currently homeless.
After Boise State fans heard about Turner's plight, they wanted to help him out. But the aid could fall under "impermissible benefits."
The Boise State compliance office had to send this memo to KTVB as a reminder:
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.
There's no way the NCAA would deny Boise State's request to help out a homeless football player for a couple of weeks, right? Right?
Update: The NCAA relents.