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Tuesday Commentary--Can It Get Any Worse?

Just when you think your week can't get any worse, leave it to the NCAA to step in and kick you in the teeth.  The Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle are reporting that K-State is under NCAA investigation for possible violations involving an academic adviser.

I'm in class, so I'll leave it at that for now.  More to come later.

Updated:  Class is over, I've had a nap, gathered what information I can, and I'm ready to roll on this issue.

From what I know, the article in the Topeka Capital-Journal was pretty accurate and thorough.  If you want the full rundown on this situation, read it.

Although probably somewhat of a surprise to most K-State fans,

News of the investigation, though, came as no surprise to the school.

The article quotes athletic director Tim Weiser as saying the probe involves a (former) university academic adviser, two current players, and three former players.  Here is what we know about the identities of those people:

Two current players: One is cornerback Joshua Moore, who has not played this year due to questions regarding his academic eligibility.  The other current player is not identified.  This writer has a sneaking suspicion it is probably running back Leon Patton, who was the subject of multiple offseason rumors ( here and here).

Three former players: Ro Grigsby, Alphonso Moran, Antonio Brown.  The article thoroughly discusses what went on with these three.

One academic adviser: Not named, though apparently female.

Ro Grigsby also was questioned about whether players were romantically involved with the female tutor, his father said.

What does this all mean for K-State fans?  Right now, not much.  Ron Prince referred questions about the situation to the athletic department, which is a good thing because he has a football game to get ready for.  Tim Weiser did an excellent job of providing the necessary information.

I am very disappointed something like this happened at K-State.  As an alum, anything that has any tendency to throw into question the good name of your school is unwelcome.  But this sounds like a case of a "bad hire" in the sense that one tutor got a little carried away with 'helping' out the student-athletes.  But as disappointing as things like this are, they happen not just at all schools, but in all walks of life.  You show me a manager who has never hired a person who didn't work out, and I'll show you a very new manager.

All you can do when situations like this occur is the best you can and, from all indications, this matter has been handled very well by the athletic department.  The reaction to the situation has been apparently swift, as it appears these problems occurred either last spring or this summer, meaning officials got to the bottom of it quickly.  What's the best news?  I'll let the TCJ tell the story in two quotes:

Since last summer, a joint investigation between K-State and the NCAA has revealed that any allegations against the school won't include a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor, athletic director Tim Weiser said. Further, no evidence has suggested that any coaches, administrators or boosters are involved.

That's good, because "lack of institutional control" and "failure to monitor" are two very serious allegations.

Both Moran and J.D. Grigsby said they didn't believe K-State coach Ron Prince was aware of the potential violations until he was informed by officials in the athletic department.

While there really is no excuse for a head coach not to know what is going on in his program, it appears this is something that popped up, and was taken care of, rather quickly.  I would be disappointed if Prince was willfully ignorant of the situation, but to this point that doesn't appear to be the case here.  Let's hope we continue to hear that our athletic department handled this situation as well as possible.

The only other noteworthy news from today comes from the KC Star, where K-State beat reporter Howard Richman notes the margin for error is small at K-State.  It's an interesting read because it really illustrates how close the Cats are to being 5-0.  Ian Campbell also provides a glimpse into how much goes into each football game and how little each game comes down to...

"You prepare all week long, you play this game, fight it out all day, and it comes down to the last 5 minutes and you lose the game. In one aspect it’s a compliment to us that we’re not getting blown out of the water, but on the other hand I’d rather take the win."

Just as interesting as all that was to me, I liked another thing I saw; I liked seeing the players basically saying they were going to go out, do their best, and hope to win.  Last week at this same time, we heard about how the win over Texas had served notice to KU and the rest of the Big 12, and how we were supposedly a faster, smarter, better team than KU.

That is not K-State football, and I hate hearing our players say that.  I want to see the players saying the same thing in the media each week whether they just beat LSU or just beat West BFE College.  K-State football was built on hard work and letting play on the field do the talking, and NO football game anywhere was ever won by comments to the media on Sunday-Friday.

That's enough of the serious stuff.  Enjoy this moment of levity provided by some Lawrence Journal-World editors who were apparently asleep at the wheel.