Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jacob Pullen, Curtis Kelly suspended from K-State basketball team for receiving impermissible benefits


— 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.


Ian Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

Hmm... Seeing as how I dislike KSU more than ALMOST any other team in the country (any Calipari team--Kentucky for now--is my most hated team), I can't help but get some joy out of this. However, I get more satisfaction seeing KSU get stomped when they're at full strength (see Florida Gators, who recently lost to Jacksonville!). Now all we will hear is excuses about how they would have won if Pullen and Kelly weren't suspended, forgetting how they had recently lost to a lackluster Florida team.

With that said, these "benefits" seem extremely petty--but I suppose rules are rules, and I don't know the extent of the alleged benefits. I'm just glad this rule doesn't seem to apply to bars, or else our entire team would be suspended. I don't think I've ever seen a basketball player pay the cover charge at any bar, nor have I seen any of them pay for a drink (in fact, I've been known to purchase a couple congratulatory shots for a few players from time to time.)

Good luck, Jayhawks. Do work tomorrow at Cal and show us a little (or a lot of) killer instinct.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 1 month ago

It'll be interesting to see it pan out. Remember over $1000 is a third of a season, that is what happened to Selby. If it is less than a $1000, I've never heard the specifics of how long the suspension.

In this case, it sounds like it was less than $1000.

Nutflush21 9 years, 1 month ago

You are right about the $1000. But it still seems odd that Pullen and Kelly get impermissible benefits while current members of the K-State team and get 3 games but Selby gets impermissible benefits from a family friend long before he was a Jayhawk and gets nine games... The NCAA is a joke.

fansincewilt 9 years, 1 month ago

During the broadcast of their game last night they mentioned they had been able to purchase clothing items for less than normal price. Surely, it is more than that. I could understand the purchase of a 20,000 car for maybe 10,000 but this does seem to be extreme. If not, these guys almost need an agent telling them what they can do and what they can't do. Do these guys have to face this much scrutiny? On another note, I really hope that Little gets to rejoin the team after maybe a five or six game suspension. He sounds very sorrowful for his lack of judgment. I remember one time picking a guy up off his feet and shoving him against a brick wall for just touching my girl friend. After forty-two years, I am still married to her. Young guys do crazy things when it involves their girl friend. I say, "Get Little back." However, if he hurt his girl, that is a different thing. In all those years, I have never laid my hand on my wife in a mean way. I think the girl's testimony will be what determines everything. I hope she is very truthful.

patrick_e 9 years, 1 month ago

Self was asked a question about Mario Little on Hawk Talk and he made it sound like he expected Little to be back with the team some time after the break.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 1 month ago

patrick e,

You must have been listening to a different broadcast. Self talked about how it "was difficult to see a resolution" right now....he didn't say it wasn't there, he just couldn't see it. that would mean to me, Little is not coming back anytime soon...if at all.

fansin, it all depends upon the charges the DA brings, what the girl and the people testify to, and all the rest. if they are willing to throw the full book at him...and charge him with the battery, then i don't see him coming back. Violence just won't be tolerated...and it shouldn't be. especially with such poor judgment use, being out at 2:30 a.m.

NH_JHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Must be a lot of clothing they received to warrant a 3 game suspension. Despite not knowing all the circumstances surrounding this "violation" it still seems a pretty ridiculous punishment. It's clothes for crying out loud! 3 games for some some sweat pants, underwear, and socks... The NCAA is a joke.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 1 month ago

You could tell last night VS UNLV that K-State is an average or below average team without Pullen and Kelley. With this loss, I believe, IMHO, the Wild Kitties need to exit the Top 25. Bye, bye----don't let the door hit you from behind. I am sure we will not hear from the K-State troll who has been on this site before for a while.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

Pullen should have gone pro last year. K-State can't handle the expectations. That said, they'll still probably give us two of our toughest outings all season.

I wonder what makes the situation different for Kelly to warrant longer than a 3 game suspension. I guess as jrulz pointed out, it's likely the quantity of goods received, but could it have something to do with the fact that Pullen was a preseason all-American? Sounds like he's getting a little leeway, or maybe the benefit of the doubt.

Or maybe he showed a little restraint considering he has more to lose. I don't know.

The whole thing sounds lame to me. Ultimately, it's not a big deal, and they will bounce back. But I think they've already proven they're not the top 5 team that their billing claimed. And they're not the best team in the Big 12. And Pullen is not the best player in the conference.

TtownHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Kelley might not get longer than 3 games. They are still investigating the facts on him, so it could be 3 games just like Pullen.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 1 month ago

Best was dickey v saying there is no way pullen can be an all American with the way he's played.

oklahoma_mead 9 years, 1 month ago

I heard it was a Josh Selby Jersey that he wants signed when they play later in the season.

justanotherfan 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm torn on this NCAA rule.

A couple stories from when I was in college.

As a broke college student, I went out to dinner sometimes, usually to places where friends were waiters/ waitresses/ hosts, etc. Almost everytime I went to one of those places I got something for free - free appetizer, free dessert, free fountain drink. Technically, if I understand the NCAA rule correctly, if I were an athlete, those would be "impermissible benefits."

I also went shopping and some of my friends that were clerks would let me use their in-store employee discount on my purchase. Once again, under the NCAA rule, I think that would be an "impermissible benefit."

I'm not saying that's what Kelly and Pullen did. I don't know, frankly. I'm not commenting on the rightness or wrongness of the situation. What I am saying is that you will be hard pressed to find ANY college student, athlete or otherwise, that hasn't gotten something for free, or for a reduced price.

Heck, once I remember going into a restaurant during finals with friends. A few of us were wearing college sweats and hoodies, and the owner of the restaurant gave us half off just because we were college students and it was finals! Talk about a sweet deal. Lucky none of us were athletes, otherwise we would have had to self report to the NCAA.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 1 month ago

good grief yes, all of us who went to school, and went out at all, probably had some "impermissible benefits" thrown our way. (we sat at the crossing one friday afternoon, and i never paid for a beer....the bartender was a friend.)

but that's truly not the issue. these guys basically stole some clothes....of course, it wasn't out and out theft...but as a student athlete, you are not to get any "benefits" outside of what your family can provide...and what the school allows you to get, with meals and lodging for travel, and these types of things. These guys know it, anybody that has anything to do with the school knows it, and this store employee knows it too. what's curious is, how did the NCAA find out? did the store owner notice his books didn't line up? These rules have been in place for a long time.

a few years ago, my family and i, thru a mutual friend, had a softball recruit's family contact us about KU. and we talked to them about the school, and what kind of campus it was like..and the things to do in the area. and when i contacted someone else i knew in the KU AD, they basically said, don't talk to them'll end up giving some sort of "benefit" that isn't allowed...(like a meal coupon, or staying at the house, or assistance with travel, or even something wrong in general communication.) just turn over to them, the coach's phone number, and be done with it. it's really something that should be handled strictly by the athletic dept...and nowhere else. big eye opener for sure.

crmsnblu 9 years, 1 month ago

i agree some clothes seems miniscule, but if it is know that this took place publicy and there is no punishment then free clothing becomes a part of every coaches recruiting process. believe it or not some 18 year olds would choose one school over the other because they could recieve free clothing. 18 year olds make a lot of what their wearing. this needed to be shot down and punished to set a precident, if it is not this problem could easily escelate all around the country.

westernkshawk 9 years, 1 month ago

These are NOT 18-year-olds. They are seniors and the SUPPOSED "leaders of the team" (although I haven't seen either of them doing much "leading" this year!!

Damian Glaze 9 years, 1 month ago

I find it a little convenient that the three game suspension happens during the playing of three of the worst teams on their schedule (UNLV is decent). When did this happen and did the NCAA allow KSCC to determine which three games? Honestly, I don't care too much what goes on down there but I love it when the hicks out west bombard my email and fb with Selby nonsense and then get this thrown in their face. At least we can say the Selby situation hasn't been a deciding factor in a win or a loss.

haydenhawkco 9 years, 1 month ago

My question is how they (NCAA, KSU) found out. Who was the emanator?

hawkone 9 years, 1 month ago

It bums me out how receiving free things isn't considered stealing to most people these days. If your buddy gives you free beer or a store clerk gives you free or discounted clothes you are still indirectly stealing. The employee in fact is stealing from the owner and you are knowingly recieving stolen goods. But I digress because these days that all is ok in society. Giving others things that are not your is perfectly acceptable. By the way, I have received improper benefits and I recognize now that it was wrong.

SoCalAlum 9 years, 1 month ago

Lost in the aftermath of the K-State loss to UNLV was the contribution of former Jayhawk/UNLV transfer Quintrell Thomas who went 3/4 FG but acc to AP story made a basket that put UNLV up for good. Good job, Q!

Chris Bruning 9 years, 1 month ago

kelley is the BIGGEST BABY I HAVE EVER FRICKIN SEEN.....CRY BABY....does more complaining running back on Defense than i have ever seen in my life

crmsnblu 9 years, 1 month ago

did you seriously just say that last year KSU carried the state in basketball, sounds like a typical KSU homer pumped to hang an elite 8 banner.

the state of KS was dominated by KU in victories, rankings, championships(big XII league and tourn.) as well as the games played between the two.

KUFan90 9 years, 1 month ago

KSU carried the state of KS in basketball last year? Please remind me who was 31-3, ranked #1 most of the year, and won the Big 12 conference title? I don't think winning 2 more games in the NCAA tourney "carried the state".

Please change your screen name to remove reference to you being a Jayhawk...thanks.

vmwskywalk 9 years, 1 month ago

Your MildCats won't make the NCAA tournament. They will at best go .500 in the B12.

pizzaboy225 9 years, 1 month ago

this post sounds like it was written by a 10 year old parroting things he heard from his senile grandpa from western kansas

2Bnamedlater 9 years, 1 month ago

So is it shoplifting? Or is it receiving stolen merchandise? Both punishable by law. They either shoplifted it by not paying for it, or the clerk stole it and then gave it to them. Either way you look at it the police should be involved.

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 1 month ago

sounds to me like they tried to shoplift; got in trouble with a clerk or someone and later (after realizing who they were) the owner/manager of the store tried to bail them out by later saying "I let them have it"

just speculation, but thats how these things happen sometimes.

Christopher Hauser 9 years, 1 month ago

What I read in a KCStar article was that both players were allowed to take more merchandise than what they had paid for. The NCAA new the exact amount for Pullen so they gave him the three game hit. The NCAA is still unclear of the amount over that Kelly was allowed to take hence not knowing how many games for him yet. I would assume that the store was not a National chain like Dillards but rather a local owned business but I could be wrong.

kureader 9 years, 1 month ago

I like to see K-Straight lose and get bad publicity more than most people do. But, the NCAA is routinely getting carried away with penalties and punishment. This is just another example. Their one game suspension of Tom Izzo is another, just last week (and I'm not an Izzo fan either). Their treatment of Selby may not have been excessive, I don't know. But, it shouldn't have taken 1/3 of the season for them to figure things out. It wasn't that complicated.

The NCAA needs more oversight and supervision.

Geekinout 9 years, 1 month ago

First Judge, now Pullen and Kelly? Hey, why don't they pick out weaker opponents to sit these guys. That program of good ole boy hayseeds who do no wrong can eat it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.