Report: UK recruit received cash, gifts
ISTANBUL — Kentucky recruit Enes Kanter received more than $100,000 in cash and benefits while he played for a professional team in Turkey, the club’s general manager told The New York Times.
Nedim Karakas, the GM for Fenerbahce Ulker, said the team has handed over banking and housing records to the NCAA, which is reviewing Kanter’s amateur status.
“The NCAA asked officially what we paid,” he told the newspaper. “We took from the bank what we paid. Normally, we send all the documents that we have. They asked for more things. They asked for the rent, what we paid.”
The 6-foot-11, 272-pound Kanter is one of the top prospects in Kentucky’s highly rated recruiting class.
“The University of Kentucky is working diligently with the NCAA on this matter and we fully support Enes Kanter and his family through this ongoing NCAA review,” school spokesman DeWayne Peevy said in an e-mailed statement. “We will have no further comment.”
Karakas said the Turkish team provided housing for Kanter and his family for more than three years. It also gave him food and pocket money, and paid Kanter more than $6,500 a month in salary during his final season.
If the 18-year-old Kanter is declared ineligible and decides to play in Europe next season, Fenerbahce Ulker would be owed a transfer fee. Both Karakas and club executive Aydin Ors also told the Times they were unhappy with the way Kanter left the team because of their investment in the prospect.
But Karakas said the club’s interaction with the NCAA is about telling the truth.
“This is real, and the NCAA’s main goal is to protect the amateur side of sports,” Karakas said.
Max Ergul, who has advised Kanter, said the center’s time with Fenerbahce was similar to a player who went to prep school in the U.S.
“They paid the necessary expenses, like any other kid who goes to prep school and gets the $30- or $40,000 scholarship,” Ergul told the Times. “I think that’s the truth.”
Kanter, who did not sign a contract with the Turkish club, was held out during Kentucky’s preseason trip to Canada last month, since the NCAA is examining his eligibility.