NCAA appeal hearing on Kanter scheduled for Thursday
The NCAA eligibility appeal hearing for Kentucky freshman center Enes Kanter—technically, his second before this committee—was scheduled to be at 2 p.m. ET Thursday by conference call, a source told Sporting News.
Kanter is a 6-11 center from Turkey who spent the 2009-10 academic year in the United States playing prep school basketball in California before committing to attend UK.
The NCAA approved his academic eligibility, but he has not been permitted to compete as the NCAA considered amateurism issues that developed from Kanter's time with the Fenerbahce Ulker club in Istanbul.
The NCAA's eligibility staff ruled Kanter “permanently ineligible” in November, after the Kanter family agreed with the organization's finding that his family received more than $30,000 from the club during his three years there.
The Kanters claimed the majority of that money was spent on educational expenses—tuition and tutors—which they argue is similar to a prep school scholarship for an American youth. The rest sits unused in a bank account.
Dr. Mehmet Kanter told Sporting News in December that he offered to pay back the entire amount, in the same manner as Kansas freshman Josh Selby was permitted to pay back roughly $6,000 in extra benefits he was provided while a high school player. The NCAA declined the offer and ruled that Kanter could not play.
UK appealed that ruling and was waiting for a decision when the NCAA declared Auburn quarterback Cam Newton could continue his college football career because he was not aware of his father's admitted scheme to attempt to sell his son’s commitment to Mississippi State. At that point, UK asked to have Kanter's eligibility reconsidered, according to a source, because of similarities in the two cases.
“I been saying from beginning of the review there has never been any monetary exchange between Enes and Fenerbahce,” Mehmet Kanter said in an e-mail to Sporting News. “Enes was 16 years old, never had any knowledge about any accounts and everything has been between me and Fenerbahce.”