K-State's Pullen, Kelly out after taking impermissible benefits

Kansas State was missing its two seniors against UNLV tonight at the Sprint Center.

K-State officials announced prior to the 8 p.m. game that Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly were declared ineligible by the school for receiving impermissible benefits in the purchase of clothing at a Manhattan department store, which is a secondary violation of NCAA rules.

A source told The Star that a sales clerk who knew Pullen and Kelly allowed them to take more clothing from the store than they paid for.

Pullen will miss three games as a result of a ruling by the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff. The K-State compliance staff is continuing to work with the NCAA regarding Kelly's status.

The clothing Pullen and Kelly took from the store exceeded the value of the merchandise paid for. The difference in value is the impermissible benefit. Because Pullen's suspension was specific and is known, Kansas State has learned the value of his benefit. Kelly's is larger and is still being determined.

"These young men have worked hard to represent themselves and Kansas State in a positive manner," basketball coach Frank Martin said in a statement. "Having said that, they made a mistake in judgment and have to pay a price for that decision."

Pullen entered the year as the Big 12 preseason player of the year, and is averaging 16.5 points and 3.8 assists. Kelly was a preseason All-Big selection and is averaging 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds. Neither player was at the game.