NY Times: UK’s Kanter was paid in Turkey

The New York Times’ Pete Thamel, in Turkey to cover the FIBA World Basketball Championships, has made a little time to do some sightseeing.

And to talk to officials of the Turkish club team that played University of Kentucky signee Enes Kanter. Or, as it might be fairly surmised from the Times’ report — employed Kanter.

The Times reports that team officials claim to have paid Kanter more than $100,000 in cash and benefits over three years.

[Read Thamel’s story here.]

From the story:

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.

Doesn’t look good for Kanter. Former University of Louisville recruit Muhammed Lasege got a permanent benching from the NCAA for much, much less. But he had what the NCAA called a signed contract. Kanter, apparently, did not sign a contract. Kanter may yet have legal options. And the NCAA will likely take a look at any bank or other records the family has if they want to refute the story.

But the tough thing for Kanter and UK is that these guys are pretty much assumed ineligible until they prove themselves eligible. His burden of proof has gotten very significant.

More to come, certainly. But not good news for the UK big man.

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