N.C. State will get news from the NCAA on Omer Yurtseven’s eligibility soon. At least that’s Mark Gottfried’s hope.
The Wolfpack coach said at ACC media day on Wednesday that he expects to get a decision from the NCAA on the Turkish forward’s eligibility sooner than later.
“I have been told that we are anticipating something in the next week, maybe sooner,” Gottfried said. “I don’t think that’s set in concrete, and I’ve learned through this process that nothing surprises me.
“But I’m hoping, maybe end of the week, end of next week, maybe we hear something.”
N.C. State’s first preseason game is Nov. 3 and the regular season opens Nov. 11. Yurtseven, who scored 91 points in an Under-18 club game in May, is expected to be one of N.C. State’s best players.
Yurtseven, a 7-foot freshman, played for a Turkish pro club the past three years. N.C. State and the NCAA have been working through his amateur status since he enrolled in August.
It’s not uncommon for international players, who are allowed to receive some money from their club teams, to sit out a limited number of games to start to the season.
Belgian forward Thomas de Thaey sat out the first four games of the 2011-12 season for the Wolfpack. That same season, Ukranian forward Alex Len missed the first 10 games of his freshman year at Maryland.
There are lot of different factors, one of the main issues being cost-of-living expenses, that go into the NCAA’s decision.
Kentucky’s Enes Kanter came from the same club as Yurtseven and was ruled permanently ineligible for taking more than $33,000 in “impermissible benefits” from the club before the 2010-11 season.
Yurtseven’s case is believed to be different from Kanter. Yurtseven and his family have been preparing to play college basketball since the start of his first year with Fenerbahce club.
Yurtseven is expected to play for the Wolfpack this season, the question from the NCAA is more a matter of how many games he will have to miss.
Gottfried has been preparing his team to play with and without Yurtseven. The coach, and player, are eager to hear from the NCAA.
“When you are in that limbo, kind of the abyss of the unknown, that’s troublesome because it’s every day you are just facing the unknown,” Gottfried said.
“Once you know if there is a penalty and how many games, then we can all adjust accordingly.”
N.C. State is also waiting on the eligibility status of freshman forward Ted Kapita. Gottfried said Kapita’s case is more complex than Yurtseven’s and could take longer for a ruling.
Kapita, who is originally from the Congo, committed to Arkansas last year but was not academically cleared. There were reports that Kapita was going to play in two different pro leagues, one in France and one in Las Vegas, last year. He ended up playing for a prep school in Florida last season.
N.C. State plays two preseason games at home, Nov. 3 (Lynn) and Nov. 7 (Barton) before opening the regular season with Georgia Southern on Nov. 11.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio