Kansas City, Mo. Preseason All-America guard Jacob Pullen, who had made 82 consecutive starts for No. 11 Kansas State, was suspended by the NCAA for three games just before the Wildcats’ game against UNLV on Tuesday night.
In a statement, the school said Pullen and senior forward Curtis Kelly were being punished for receiving impermissible benefits in connection with the purchase of clothing at a local department store.
It said the length of Kelly’s suspension had not been determined by the NCAA’s student-athlete reinstatement staff.
Pullen and Kelly are the two top scorers for Kansas State (9-3). Their loss is certain to weaken the Wildcats significantly. Pullen, a four-year starting guard, will also miss games against Missouri-Kansas City and North Florida.
“These young men have worked hard to represent themselves and Kansas State in a positive manner,” coach Frank Martin said in a statement. “Having said that, they made a mistake in judgment and have to pay a price for that.”
Pullen is the Wildcats’ team leader and preseason choice as Big 12 player of the year.
He’s averaging 16.5 points and 3.8 assists and is the first Kansas State player selected to the preseason All-America team. He had played in 115 games and is a three-time team captain.
Kelly is averaging 10.3 points and four rebounds.