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Kentucky Recruit Enes Kanter took money from Turkish Team

Discussion in 'NBA Draft' started by Clips/Roxfan, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

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    Turkish Team Says It Paid a Top Kentucky Recruit
    By PETE THAMEL
    Published: September 7, 2010


    ISTANBUL — The best recruit in Kentucky’s top-ranked recruiting class, the Turkish center Enes Kanter, received more than $100,000 in cash and benefits over three years from the professional team he played for here, according to the team’s general manager.

    In an interview in his office here this week, the general manager of Fenerbahce Ulker, Nedim Karakas, said the club had given banking and housing records to the N.C.A.A. that show Kanter received benefits that could jeopardize his amateur status for college basketball.

    “I am sorry for telling this for Enes, but we cannot lie if someone asks the whole story, we cannot hide,” Karakas said.

    Karakas said that Fenerbahce provided housing to Kanter and his family for more than three years, provided them with food and pocket money and paid Kanter a salary of more than $6,500 a month during his final season.

    Karakas and Fenerbahce’s basketball chief executive, Aydin Ors, both said they were unhappy with the way Kanter left the club because they had invested heavily in his development.

    Kanter, an 18-year-old who is 6-foot-11 and 272 pounds, is considered by some as the best big man in the world for his age.

    Fenerbahce stands to benefit if Kanter is declared ineligible to play college basketball since the team would be due a transfer fee if he plays in Europe next season, but Karakas said turning in the documents to the N.C.A.A. eligibility center was a matter of telling the truth.

    “This is real, and the N.C.A.A.’s main goal is to protect the amateur side of sports,” Karakas said.

    Max Ergul, who has acted as an adviser to Kanter, said Kanter’s experience at Fenerbahce was similar to a player attending prep school in the United States.

    “They paid the necessary expenses, like any other kid who goes to prep school and gets the $30- or $40,000 scholarship,” Ergul said. “I think that’s the truth.”

    If he received the amount of money that Karakas says he did, it would cast serious doubt on his eligibility for the Wildcats. The N.C.A.A., which does not comment on specific cases, is reviewing Kanter’s amateur status. He was not cleared by the N.C.A.A. to play for Kentucky on a preseason team trip to Canada in August.

    Kanter’s case is complicated because he did not sign a contract with the club.

    Kentucky Coach John Calipari did not return a call to his cellphone seeking comment, but he told The Sporting News in April that Kanter didn’t receive any money. Kanter couldn’t be reached for comment. His father, Mehmet, a prominent professor in Turkey, did not return e-mail requests.

    “There was no money, from what we’re seeing, what the kid is saying and the family, and what Nike is saying,” Calipari told The Sporting News. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there. You’ve got people talking about it that don’t know, just heard a rumor.”

    Karakas said the club provided Kanter and his family with between $100,000 and $150,000 starting when Kanter was 14 and he and his family moved from the Turkish capital of Ankara to Istanbul.

    While some young prospects remain eligible if they receive only room and board, Karakas said Kanter’s family received more because he was an elite prospect.

    “For Enes, he was a different guy from all the players because if you have a good player and he’s coming with his family we are renting them a house and giving him pocket money,” he said, putting that amount at between $20,000 and $25,000 a year.

    Perhaps most important in the eyes of the N.C.A.A. is that during Kanter’s final season with Fenerbahce he played in at least nine games with the senior club and drew a salary on par with those players. Karakas said that meant an initial payment of $19,800 and monthly payments of $6,500 during Kanter’s final season with the team.

    Karakas declined to show a reporter records of the payments. But he said Fenerbahce’s lawyers have sent housing records and bank records to the N.C.A.A. showing that the Kanters deposited checks from the club at a Turkish bank known as Türkiye Finans Kat{inodot}l{inodot}m Bankasi.

    Karakas said the total amount paid to Kanter and his family is difficult to calculate, but he said all relevant documents have been forwarded to the N.C.A.A.

    “The N.C.A.A. asked officially what we paid,” he said. “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.”

    Kanter arrived in the United States nearly a year ago with the intent to attend high school. He first started working out with the noted basketball workout guru Tim Grover in Chicago. While there, a flattering article about him by Scout.com created a sensation in recruiting circles because it said he turned down “millions” in Europe to play college basketball in the United States.

    From Chicago, Kanter navigated an awkward path through the prep school basketball network. He first wanted to attend Oak Hill Academy, the Virginia prep school that has produced hundreds of Division I scholarship players and stars like Carmelo Anthony. But Oak Hill Coach Steve Smith declined to accept Kanter because of his professional background.

    Kanter then spent time at both Findlay Prep in Nevada and Mountain State in West Virginia. He left both of those schools because Oak Hill’s Smith refused to play them if Kanter was on their teams.

    After leaving Mountain State in early October, Kanter ended up at Stoneridge Prep in Southern California.

    As he moved around the United States, Kanter was being advised by Ergul, a Turkish basketball middleman who is described in contrasts.

    Karakas identified him as an agent and blamed him for Kanter’s leaving Fenerbahce. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article described Ergul in 2007 as the agent for Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova.

    Ergul said that the article was wrong and that he merely served as a translator for Ilyasova, who is from Turkey.

    Ergul strongly denied being an agent. “I’d like to see one piece of paperwork that I signed as an agent or even applied for as an agent,” he said. “Knowing people shouldn’t be a crime. There’s so much he said, she said in this business.”

    For many college coaches recruiting Kanter, Ergul was the point person in the recruitment.

    The former Mountain State coach Rodney Crawford, now an assistant at Duquesne, said Ergul acted as an adviser for Kanter.

    “I don’t feel comfortable talking much about him,” Crawford said of Ergul. “I don’t want to be talking about it. He’s a real secretive guy. I don’t feel comfortable talking much about him.”

    When asked about Ergul’s role in Kanter’s life, he said: “He’s his adviser. That would be a good way to put it.” He added: “You know, that’s another thing I can’t really speak on. I just took a coaching job at Duquesne; you know how the game is, I can’t afford to say anything.”

    Kanter was expected to play one season at Kentucky and then become a high choice in the 2011 N.B.A. draft.

    Here in Istanbul, at Fenerbahce’s offices, they are dismayed at how Kanter handled the whole situation. Karakas said the club spent so much time developing him “before he became the well-known Enes Kanter” and is angry that he was taken away on the advice of an agent.

    Ergul said Kanter should be commended for attending school instead of making money playing professionally.

    Karakas said he is skeptical of Kanter’s intentions.

    “I don’t believe that Enes will be a very good student at school in the States,” he said. “He won’t be a hard worker. I know. I know his fundamentals for school. We know the education that he had before and what he did here in Turkey.

    “But he’s a very hot prospect for basketball.”

    Jack Styczynski contributed research from New York.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/s...8basketball.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=sports
     
  2. kinley121

    kinley121 Member

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    I am feeling sorry for Enes Kanter. He is one of those players who have got real talent and it is disheartening to note that even he has been dragged into such cheap controversies. I strongly believe that this is a deliberate attempt to defame Kanter and his career. I have known his personally over the years and in my view he is a true gentleman. I am sure that he is not going to be affected by these controversies.
     
  3. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    The question was never whether or not he took money... the question has always been did the money exceed the cost of living while he was with the team.

    The new NCAA rule is that a player can be eligible as an amateur for college if the only money he took from a professional overseas team was for living expenses while playing for said team.

    We always knew that he was compensated for his play for the Turkish team... the ruling that they are waiting for is if it was "excessive"
     
  4. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    This investigation is bull****, he wasn't even paid 1/10 what Kentucky is paying him right now.
     
  5. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    That is really splitting hairs. Can you see a fan for one of your rival schools (Louisville or Tennessee for instance) making that kind of argument for a player they have that accepted rent money?

    Look we all know the system's corrupt. Right now however Kentucky is benefiting the most from the corruption which means there will be a time when the school will pay for it (and not the coach because the NCAA has already demonstrated how stupid it is when it comes to penalizing coaches).

    In a few years Kentucky will be in the exact same boat as Memphis and UMass were when Calipari bailed on those schools.
     
  6. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    Kanter is the first that the new rules fall under. That's why they are taking so long to decide. He will set the standard. The idea is to allow people like Rubio and Scola who started playing on professional international teams at such a young age an opportunity to play for a college in the US... instead of spending years and years stuck in Europe with bad contracts with huge buyouts keeping them from playing in the NBA or for a school.

    It's about changing the system.. which yes we all know is wrong and corrupt. The idea is this the first bit of the change.

    The only way I wouldn't be understanding if it was another school is if they don't let Kanter play and then let someone else play who was following the same rules. This is merely the first class that this is an option.
     
  7. leebigez

    leebigez Contributing Member

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    This is a special case and i hope it turns out well, but we know calipari is a cheater. Sooner or later, the cats will be on probation like they were in the 80's. Its really a matter of time.
     
  8. Shaud

    Shaud Member

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    Free Enes
     
  9. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    I think the whole issue arose out of the fact that he wasn't free.
     
  11. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZtBUx6cEx8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZtBUx6cEx8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
     
  12. Rockets_4_life

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    So is he playing for Kentucky this upcoming year or what?
     
  13. FlyerFanatic

    FlyerFanatic YOU BOYS LIKE MEXICO!?! YEEEHAAWW
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    dont think a decision has been made but have read a few reporters saying it looks like he'll be cleared
     
  14. FlyerFanatic

    FlyerFanatic YOU BOYS LIKE MEXICO!?! YEEEHAAWW
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  15. desi tmac91

    desi tmac91 Member

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    I guess this rules him out for the 2011 draft? Wack.
     
  16. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    actually he could be signed as a free agent at any time and is eligible for the draft in 2011 because he would then be considered like a European player.

    They are setting a standard with him.. I'm curious to see what they decide about the kid in Indiana too.
     
  17. Rockets_4_life

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    Hopefully that happens, I think this kid could be something special down the line.
    I'd be awesome if the rockets had a chance at this guy... :cool:
     
  18. desi tmac91

    desi tmac91 Member

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    Have teams drafted a prospect who redshirted an entire year in the lottery before though? Kanter will likely come out next year to raise his stock but this draft might be so bad that his stock is still pretty high in 2011.
     
  19. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    now that he is deemed ineligible he can play anywhere he wants... heck he may go dleague and play for the fort wayne mad ants for all we know.
     
  20. Shaud

    Shaud Member

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    **** the NCAA :mad:
     

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