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Originally published February 17, 2009 at 02:37p.m., updated February 17, 2009 at 02:40p.m.

KSU’s Clemente suspended for tonight’s game


Kansas State guard Denis Clemente has been suspended one game by KSU coach Frank Martin for Clemente's actions against Kansas in Saturday's game at Manhattan. Clemente will serve his suspension during tonight's home game against North Carolina Central.

“Denis is a very passionate and competitive young man who knows he made a mistake,” Martin said. “His actions on Saturday are not acceptable and he has to do a better job of maintaining his composure. Denis is the leader of this basketball team and we are 100-percent supportive of him during this time.”

Video replays showed Clemente struck KU's Tyrel Reed in the head while Reed was boxing him out after a free throw with 31 seconds left.

“I am very sorry for my actions on Saturday,” Clemente said. “I understand that I let my emotions get the best of me and, more importantly, I let my team down.”

According to a K-State release, "Clemente committed a fighting act as defined by Section 4 of the NCAA Basketball Rules and must serve a suspension for the next contest."

“The Conference accepts this action and I commend Coach Martin for taking the initiative and implementing action that demonstrates his continued commitment to conduct his program with sportsmanship," Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said. “I also appreciate Mr. Clemente’s acknowledgement of his mistake.”

KU coach Bill Self commented on the suspension this afternoon: "Denis is a heck of a player. He played well against us in a hard-fought game. By no means did we pursue this situation at all."


KUPROUD 9 years, 3 months ago

Good decision, but how timely is this game against the high school in North Carolina. Maybe Frank had it planned this way for months, have a blow-up in the KU game knowing that if a suspension follows it won't hurt the season. Of course, KSU better be ready for the fighting eagles tonight.

kingpin 9 years, 3 months ago

Job well done. Now we know why state scheduled North Carolina Central after KU.

Joe Joseph 9 years, 3 months ago

Kudos to Martin... But one definitely has to wonder if this same suspension would have occurred if Kstate was playing a legitimate conference foe tonight.

zissou 9 years, 3 months ago

Martin's going to catch a lot of heat for suspending Clemente for a meaningless non-con instead of a conference game (as evidenced by the above comments) but he's following the letter of the law.

Any of you conspiracy theorists who think the NC Central game was scheduled for this purpose (give me a break) want to tell me Bill wouldn't do the same thing?

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 3 months ago

North Carolina Central University is a well respected historically Black college. Granted that it is not competitive at a high level in college b-ball, it is not by any means a high school!

Hays_Hawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I'm glad the punk is suspended for at least one...but maybe two or at least a significant game would have sent a better message. Either way, I think it'll eat at him to have to watch it from the bench.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

It's the right move by Martin. Quick and decisive. He's just extraordinarily lucky with the timing. Would he make the same move if they were playing OU or mizzou? We'll never know, but this was the right move.

I am still confused, however, why the thrown elbow wasn't an ejectionable offense and a one game suspension on its own. Clearly it was a "fighting act" as defined by Section 4 done with malice and intent to harm. Is an elbow different than a fist? That is, of course, a rhetorical question as both can cause an equal amount of harm.

The intent was clear. He should have been thrown out.

Max Ledom 9 years, 3 months ago

he is still trash. but i have more respect for martin.

Greg Lux 9 years, 3 months ago

Game won - Player punished ( level of punishment aside ) case closed. I think Martin is a good and fair coach but lets face it, if he had not acted the chances were the Big 12 would have suspended Clemete for one game and possible a later more important game.

JayCeph 9 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone else see anything confusing about this statement?:

In regard to the history of NCCU, "With nearly 9,000 students enrolled, the historically black university is diverse." (taken from

I don't understand this type of thing... the statement and the historical context. Just weird.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 3 months ago

too bad it wasn't for this Saturday, on the road in the league. but it is a suspension. He deserved it for sure.

can't wait for next year's game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 3 months ago

JayCeph....It means that it had its origin as a historically Black college and that was a time when these institutions were the only place that they could attend university. Like many of these universities, they now have diverse student populations.

JayCeph 9 years, 3 months ago

Thnx, cshjhawk. That sums it up pretty well.

yates33333 9 years, 3 months ago

Poor K-State will have to play NCCU without Clemente. Rev79 says it all, "Yawn!" Hopefully, Clemente thinks this is punishment not just a day off.

bringheatwavewheat 9 years, 3 months ago

Big 12 said they were reviewing the incident. Martin is cutting them off at the pass before they have a chance to suspend DC for a meaningful conference game. No, this would not be happening if tonight's game was a Big 12 matchup. I think this is the right move by Martin...I think Clemente's techinal coupled with the head slap made it possibly that the conference would have forced his hand later this week.

RckChalkJeff 9 years, 3 months ago

wow...poor clemente. Should be banned from the next big 12 game....not this match up with North Carolina Central Community College for the Blind.

lance1jhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

This game should really help KSUck's RPI. Seriously why would you schedule this game? In thy used car salesman KSUck trusts.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 3 months ago

NCCU is known for the stripper scholar who took down the Duke lacrosse team!

Matt Bowers 9 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, where are you? Does anyone else think it is odd that Jaybate has not blogged in nearly a week? Something is not right. Hope all is well blogger buddy.

Coach Martin did the honorable thing. Who cares what game it is. I had wished that Coach Self would have benched M.C. Morris a game after the ref incident. Hope that doesn't upset too many people, but I believe in taking the higher road.

Rock Chalk

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 3 months ago

The Clemente name has been so iconic in the sports world until now. Is Roberto still with us or has he gone to the big dugout in the sky? What a great way to honor your name and your heritage!

kvskubball 9 years, 3 months ago

Roberto Clemente died in an airplane crash while doing humanitarian work in Central America. His 'second cousin' doesn't have anywhere near his class...

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 3 months ago

Bill wouldn't do the same thing. Ya see, we play Iowa State tomorrow. Not a nonconference nobody. Now do I believe Mizzou would do that? This might be the only time I have ever said this, at least Mizzou didn't throw cheap shots. K-State did.

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 3 months ago

Bill sat Morris for half a game after bumping a ref. I think he'd sit a player after he threw two punches in the same game.

KUbsee69 9 years, 3 months ago

During a TV interview, shown in KC yesterday, Martin was asked why they had a non-conference game scheduled this late in the season. His somewhat sarcastic reply indicated that KSU didn't get any respect and therefore doesn't get to play on Mondays (Big Monday) so they have to take what they can get for Tuesday games.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they could schedule a non-con game against a non-NCAA team just for scrimage sake, if they're just looking for games. How about KSU vs. a Leavenworth team? Or, any other prison team where there would be similar types of aggressive natured players. This way there wouldn't be such a disparity of agendas amonst the teams. Then the fans could also be able to visit with their loved ones after the game. I think this could work!

cklarock 9 years, 3 months ago

Good job of damage control by Martin, but no way does he suspend Clemente if the smack on Reed doesn't make the sports news.

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