Nov. 13, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona women's basketball team lost one of its players before the season started as junior guard Ipek Turkyilmaz lost an appeal regarding her eligibility with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
Turkyilmaz joined the Wildcats this season after playing the last two season under current assistant coach Chance Lindley at Barton County Community College in Kansas. In question was her enrollment at a university in her native Turkey, which the NCAA ruled started her five-year window of competition.
All athletes at the NCAA Division I level have 10 semesters from the time they enroll as a full-time student to complete their four seasons of eligibility. While the team argued that she was only at the university on a short-term basis, the NCAA ruled that she lost two-plus years of her five allowed, ending her playing career.
Turkyilmaz will remain on scholarship and continue with the team as a student manager. She will also continue in her studies and remain on track to graduate in two more years.
"We are extremely disappointed in the decision that was handed down, but we also understand the circumstances," said head coach Niya Butts, who inked Turkyilmaz as her first-ever recruit in Tucson. "Despite this setback, we are glad that Ipek will remain a part of this team and we are confident she will find ways to contribute to the team in many other ways."
Arizona tips off the 2008-09 campaign on Friday, November 14 at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational against the University of Toledo. The game to be played at the Hilo Civic Center is set to start at 3:00 p.m. (HST)