Boise State gets OK to help homeless football recruit

BOISE, Idaho — The NCAA says Boise State can immediately assist a homeless football recruit who signed to play with the team in February.

Antoine Turner said in an interview with KTVB-TV in Boise that he’s recently been living in a motel, along with a car belonging to his girlfriend, as he finishes up classes at Fullerton College in California.

Boise State received clearance Wednesday from the NCAA to reach out to Turner and offer support.

After graduating from Fullerton, the defensive tackle is scheduled to take summer school classes at Boise State, where he will live in the dorm and have a meal plan.

Turner grew up in New Orleans and told the station his mom died of cancer when he was young, putting a strain on the relationship with his father. He moved around throughout his childhood.

He said football helped him and that he “brought a suitcase and a dream” with him to California. But he didn’t have any money or help from his family back home.

He lived wherever he could find.

“I thought I was going to get away from my problems, but they just had started,” Turner told the station. “About a year after I came out here, I actually couldn’t take it no more. At one time I had the feeling of suicide. I couldn’t fight no more.”

An uncle gave him a place to stay in government subsidized housing, until an issue with regulations recently arose. He’s been sleeping in motels and anywhere else ever since.

Officials for Boise State said they didn’t realize how bad things had gotten for Turner until the television report. They were in contact with him, but the football coaches had no idea he was homeless.

Since the story broke, Boise State fans have been quick to offer food and shelter for Turner, but that could jeopardize his playing status.

The school talked to the NCAA about it and the governing body responded on its Twitter account by announcing: “After Boise State’s request last night, the school may provide immediate assistance to football student-athlete Antoine Turner.”

Turner had 34 tackles and six sacks as a redshirt sophomore last season. He also had an interception.

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