While Kentucky continues to await an NCAA ruling on freshman center Enes Kanter – he’s currently unable to practice with the team until further notice – his dad has plenty to say about the subject.
No surprise, he’s more than a little unhappy with Fenerbahce Ulker, the Turkish basketball club standing in the way of Kanter playing for the Wildcats. Dr. Mehmet Kanter says his family turned down contract offers worth millions of dollars “more than a few times” so Enes could play at a United States College.
“They are trying to set an example with my son to coming generations in Turkey, so they can control and use the talent and youth any way they like to,” he told Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News.
For those unfamiliar with Enes Kanter’s saga (where have you been?), the 6-11 center has been trying to establish NCAA eligibility since choosing to play at Kentucky. He never signed a contract with the club and maintains he only received compensation in the form of expenses, as allowed by NCAA rules.
Fenerbahce’s general manager, Nedim Karakas, told the N.Y. Times last month that Enes was paid a salary and about $100,000 in cash and benefits during a three-year period in which he played for the club.
Thus, it’s a “he said, he said” situation.
Kanter’s father maintains the family knew what was in store for Enes if he signed with the club. And that was the last thing the family wanted.
“In Turkey as a youngster if you register with a club — which is only option if you like to play and practice – it’s impossible to go to another club unless they let you go because they don’t think you are a good enough player for them. So basically you become property of this club. I don’t think that is right and I didn’t want this for my son,” he told DeCourcy.
No word on when the NCAA will make its ruling.