When Bruce Weber released two players on March 24, it was a shock that the second of those players was guard Tre Harris. After all, it was a different Harris who'd been suspended alongside fellow departee Marcus Foster back in February, and the conventional wisdom was that Malek Harris had been walking the straight and narrow.
That didn't last long.
In a statement today whose wording is disturbingly similar to the wording used in the statement announcing the release of Foster and Tre Harris, Bruce Weber announced that the Wildcats are now Harris-less.
Obviously, one can draw conclusions here. On the other hand, one can question why a player who was already widely rumored to be desirous of a transfer needed to be released in this manner. In an interesting fashion, it brings up the differences between the grapevine, local media, and national media. To the former, this looks like a face-saving move; to the latter, it gets taken at face value.
This has been a disturbing off-season under any microscope, and K-State isn't the only major program standing around a dumpster with fire extinguishers. The dysfunction has grown past casual concern, to the point where even Wesley Iwundu tweeted that he was gone. The following, however, can be a temporary source of relief:
K-State's Wesley Iwundu told me in a text message his "plan right now is to stay."— Ken Corbitt (@KenCorbitt) April 17, 2015
What can't be avoided is the fact that right now, exactly three players who saw more than 100 minutes of action last season are coming back this fall. Three. The remaining five players on the roster include the probably-done D.J. Johnson, the currently injured Brandon Bolden, and three walk-ons.
A month ago, the criticism was about the actual coaching of the team, and about the handling of issues within the team. Now, it's fair to ask what the plan is here, or if there even is one. Is this a deliberate house-cleaning? If so, where is the accountability for having recruited this class in the first place, and why should any observer be faulted for wondering what's going to make this last-minute rush to fill out the roster any more successful? That's a very relevant concern at this point.
If it's not deliberate, then it means Bruce Weber is just reacting to things, and that brings up its own set of questions. And what's the role of the administration here? Was Weber forced to jettison three players he'd rather have kept around?
The unfortunate reality is that we'll probably never know, because as much as the word "accountability" gets thrown around, there isn't any to anyone outside the program. There are things which can't be said for legal reasons, and that's understandable. But on a certain level, there's also the impression that the department feels the fanbase isn't owed explanations.
And that's going to be an issue unless the 2015-16 edition of this team outperforms the fanbase's bleak expectations.