MANHATTAN — Kansas State granted Daniel Sams a conditional release from his athletic scholarship on Tuesday.
The athletic quarterback turned wide receiver is allowed to contact Football Championship Subdivision programs near his hometown of Slidell, La. with the exception of Stephen F. Austin. The Wildcats open the season against the Lumberjacks at Snyder Family Stadium on Aug. 30. With the release, Sams will be eligible to play and receive financial aid immediately with a FCS school.
“Daniel requested to be able to continue his playing career at an FCS institution so that he could be closer to some of his aging family members,” K-State athletic director John Currie said in a statement released by the school. “We appreciate his contributions and wish him the best.”
FCS football programs located in Louisiana include: McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana and Southern.
Sams spent three years at K-State and just completed his sophomore season, rushing for 807 yards and 11 touchdowns and throwing for 452 yards and four touchdowns while splitting snaps with starting quarterback Jake Waters. His playing time diminished near the end of last season, and he changed positions to receiver during spring practices in pursuit of increased playing time.
K-State football coach Bill Snyder said Sams showed progress at his new position, but Sams is likely to return his focus to quarterback with his new team. He has two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out his first year in Manhattan with a redshirt.
“I am thankful to Coach Snyder for the opportunity I have had here at K-State and also the fans for being so supportive,” Sams said in a statement. “I have become a better teammate, football player and more importantly a better person during my time at K-State, and I want to wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best next season.”
Currie said last month that his department would deny an athlete transfer request if it had concerns about outside tampering or procedures not being followed.
Earlier last month, the university denied a transfer request by Kansas State freshman women’s basketball player Leticia Romero following the firing of coach Deb Patterson. Without a release, Romero can still enroll at another school, but she won’t be eligible for an athletic scholarship for a year.
On Monday, Patterson was hired as an assistant coach by new Northern Colorado coach Kamie Ethridge, a former K-State assistant. Ethridge’s staff also includes former Wildcats assistants Shalee Lehning, as associate head coach, and Kelly Moylan.