NCAA approves assistance waiver for homeless Boise State player

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Fans could not provide support to Bronco commit Antoine Turner without approval, because it could've hurt his NCAA eligibility.

On Tuesday, a story came out about a Boise State JUCO commit named Antoine Turner, who is homeless until the start of summer classes. Broncos fans obviously wanted to find out how they could help, but the school asked them not to, since it would be against NCAA rules.

It announced that it would apply for a waiver to provide special assistance to Turner:

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.

Outrage obviously followed, because people were angry this kind of situation even required a waiver in the first place. Our own Boise State site, One Bronco Nation Under God, wrote that the "NCAA just can't get it right."

However, waiver process and all, the NCAA announced on Wednesday that Boise State will be able to provide Turner with assistance:

We reached out to Boise State to see when they found out about Turner's situation, since they only applied for the waiver last night. Apparently, according to Boise State sports information director Max Corbet, they found out about it from the news story, along with everyone else:

Ironically, our coaches did not know about Antoine's current situation until after the local TV station ran the story earlier this week.  Our coaches had been in contact with Antoine and have asked several times how things were going.  Each time Antoine responded that he was good.  Antoine is a very proud young man whose focus right now is finishing up his classes at Fullerton College and then coming to Boise State.  

Now that the NCAA has provided us with a wavier to give Antoine immediate assistance, we are in the process of contacting him to find out how we can help.  I've not heard back from our coaches to see if they've been able to visit Antoine.  I know they did earlier today, but I think he was in class.

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