Train Wreck in Manhattan: Is Curtis Kelly on his way out?

Kansas State's struggles this season are well documented.  The Wildcats were picked to win the Big 12 after a great performance at the Big Dance to close out last season.  Unfortunately, Kansas State's play never lived up to the hype, on or off the court, and team is splintering.  Dominique Sutton transferred (to be closer to his daughter) during the offseason; Curtis Kelly sat the first three games of the season (for an apparent lack of effort in practice); Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly served multi-game suspensions for receiving impermissible benefits; Freddy Asprilla transferred to Canisius; Wally Judge left the program for a currently unknown destination; and now Kelly is back in the news with rumors that he may be suspended or even kicked off the team for undisclosed violations.

The Wichita Eagle's Kellis Robinett does a great job reading between the lines in the situation, but here are the important points:

Curtis Kelly is the subject of a Kansas State athletic department investigation for a violation of a condition in the student-athlete handbook. The violation could earn him dismissal from the team, a source within the department said Tuesday.

The source said Kelly, a senior, is appealing the violation

[....]

Kelly is a repeat offender of the condition in question and that it has cost him playing time already this season.

According to K-State's student-athlete handbook, only one violation would fit those parameters — a violation of the student-athlete drug and alcohol policy.

[....]

After the first violation, a student-athlete must inform his or her family of the transgression in the presence of a coach and undergo counseling. A second violation results in a suspension for 10 percent of a team's games in the regular season (three for men’s basketball).

Kelly, who’s averaging 9.9 points, missed the first three games of the season for unspecified reasons that coach Frank Martin said at the time revolved around poor practice habits.

A third violation results in a permanent suspension from the team and the loss of all financial aid.

If Robinett is correct, Kelly is probably done.  Drug policies are pretty black and white situations.  If he is kicked off the team, this will be one of the more dysfunctional seasons I have ever seen from a school picked in the top five in preseason polls.  While he hasn't had a phenomenal season (in part because of his limited playing time), Kelly is invaluable to the Wildcats as an experienced, athletic big man.  Until I read this, I still thought K-State would put together a run and make the tournament.  If this holds, I don't think it's possible.

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