Kansas State athletic director John Currie issued a letter to K-State fans on Wednesday night regarding the suspension of fifth-year senior Jamar Samuels.
Samuels was ruled ineligible to compete in the Wildcats’ season-ending loss in the NCAA tournament after it was discovered he received $200 in a wire payment for food from his former AAU coach and family friend Curtis Malone.
“After working throughout Friday night and Saturday morning, and consulting with the NCAA staff, it was determined that a violation had occurred, thus rendering Jamar ineligible to compete,” Currie said in the letter.
The K-State administration argued on Samuels’ behalf, but in the end, the NCAA wouldn’t overturn its decision.
“During the first half (of the Syracuse game) we learned that Jamar would not be reinstated,” Currie wrote. “We would have continued the reinstatement effort had we won the game and proceeded to the next round.”
Some people have argued Samuels’ pre-existing relationship with Malone would deem there was no violation, but the NCAA disagreed. And while it seems like a minor infraction, it was one that couldn’t be ignored, Currie said.
“There are serious repercussions for an institution that knowingly plays a student-athlete who is potentially ineligible,” he said. “These potential repercussions include forfeiture of contests, a ‘major’ violation charge, and even charges of unethical conduct and failure to maintain an atmosphere of compliance, as well as institutional probation and other sanctions. We can’t decide on our own which rules we want to follow and which ones we don’t, nor would we want to participate in an organization where members have such latitude.
“We’ll continue to work towards our vision of a model intercollegiate program at K-State, and our five goals, including winning championships. We’ll do it with integrity and within the rules. It’s the only way.”