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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Curtis Kelly is subject of K-State investigation; future with team in question

BY KELLIS ROBINETT
The Wichita Eagle

MANHATTAN — 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, and that his playing status during the appeals process is not yet known. But he remains on the team.

"Curtis is still a member of our program," K-State director of media relations Kenny Lannou said.

K-State officials refused to specify the nature of Kelly's violation, citing student privacy issues. But a source indicated 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.

The handbook indicates that the coach of any team can enforce rules regarding substance abuse at their own discretion, but cannot be more lenient than an outlined policy of three violations.

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.

Athletic director John Currie and basketball coach Frank Martin did not return calls placed to their cell phones Tuesday. Attempts to reach Kelly were unsuccessful.

Kelly has the right to appeal any possible violations, and he is doing so, the source said. According to the student-athlete handbook, Kelly can appeal to Currie for an initial ruling, and then appeal to K-State's General Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee.

If further discussion is required, within seven days of receipt of the written request for an appeal, the Chair of the General Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee will convene a hearing. At that time Kelly will have an opportunity to be heard. Kelly may be accompanied at the hearing by an attorney or other person of his or her choice who may act as an advisor. They may not address the committee, which would release a written decision to Kelly and Currie.

Whatever the result, this is not the first time Kelly's playing status has been brought into question. After missing the first three games of the season, he served a six-game suspension for accepting impermissible clothing discounts at a local Dillard's, which is a secondary violation of NCAA rules.

Should the appeal fail, he will be the third post player to leave K-State. Freddy Asprilla left the team in mid-January and Wally Judge quit last week.

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