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Antoine Turner’s Turn of Events

May 15th, 2014

Antoine Turner. Photo courtesy: Antoine Turner on Twitter

Making a Division 1 (top level) college football team is a big deal under the best of circumstances.

Antoine Turner managed to achieve that …. while being homeless — sleeping on a park bench and living out of a car, often without so much as a blanket.

His mother died when he was four. The uncle he lived with after that tragic event died in Hurricane Katrina , which also destroyed his home.

A few months ago, Boise State University in Idaho recruited him with a full college scholarship that would pay for his tuition, books, and housing, when his program starts.

In the meantime, as the story spread about all he’d been through and how he persevered, people came forward with offers to help him.

His troubles finally seemed to be over. Only not quite yet.

He wasn’t allowed to accept any help because of a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rule that says that student athletes aren’t allowed to receive gifts like a place to stay or meals, favors, even flowers or discounts. The rule is in place for a reason … so that colleges don’t go overboard and use these kinds of incentives to get athletes to go their schools.

But if there was ever someone who deserved a break, it’s Antoine Turner. And because of the rule, he was going to have to stay homeless for even longer. This seemed pretty unfair.

Boise State University asked the NCAA to make an exception, and some sports writers argued for it as well.

The NCAA said no at first , but they changed their mind yesterday to many people’s relief, especially Antoine’s.

Antoine Turner gave this  response  through Idaho journalist, Jay Tust, who reported Antoine’s story from the beginning:  “I want to thank the people of Boise and Boise State for the love they have showed me in my life right now. I want to thank the NCAA for allowing assistance. I’m humbled by the situation. I’m humbled by the fact I went through what I went through and I want to thank my grandparents for teaching me to be humble. The best thing is – kids that are going through a similar situation can view this as an inspiration. They can succeed. There are still people that care and just because somebody tells you that you can’t do something, it doesn’t mean you can’t. Now, I would like to focus on my finals, getting to Boise and getting back to the game I love – football.”

You can learn more about Antoine’s amazing story here .

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