So it wasn’t really hundreds of thousands of dollars. And there wasn’t a salary. And Enes Kanter is not an actual professional basketball player.
For now, though, he also is not a college basketball player. And that is the NCAA’s shame.
Late Thursday afternoon, Kanter, a freshman at Kentucky, was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA’s student-athlete reinstatement staff for “receiving benefits above his actual and necessary expenses” while playing in the Fenerbahce club system in his native Turkey.
The NCAA revealed in its declaration of Kanter’s ineligibility that the amount in question is $33,033. According to a source close to the process, about $20,000 of that money was used by the Kanter family to pay for Kanter’ educational expenses—such as schooling and tutors—with the remainder still sitting in an account unused. The NCAA told the family that Fenerbahce would have needed to pay for those expenses directly for them to be permissible.