NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-Kansas State vs Texas A&M

Once again, a college athlete looking to transfer is being held up. But this time it’s coming from an unexpected source: Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats. K-State wide receiver Corey Sutton told The Wichita Eagle he informed the team of his plans to transfer, but that they have not yet granted his release from his athletic scholarship.

According to the paper, “Sutton said he presented K-State with a list of 35 potential transfer destinations in early May and the school denied his release to all 35 a week later. Sutton said the list didn’t contain any Big 12 schools or teams on future K-State schedules. Some were FCS and Division II. Didn’t matter. K-State blocked him everywhere.”

To understand why this is important, Sutton can technically transfer wherever he wants. But in order to receive financial aid and a scholarship, he first needs to be granted his release. Otherwise, he’s on his own to foot the bill, something Sutton said he cannot afford to do.

Sutton fired off a couple of tweets on Wednesday, expressing his frustration.

These tweets by Sutton were eventually deleted.

While it’s hard to know exactly what this story entails, since Kansas State has not made a comment on it and we are only getting one side of the story, it is concerning.

I’ve always been, and remain, a huge fan of Bill Snyder and the program he built at Kansas State based on high-character individuals and often under-recruited players. But if this is true, then it’s a no-win situation for the University and the football program.

Clearly Sutton has his issues with how Kansas State runs its program, as he accused the coaches of promising him playing time that never came, while also saying the coaches asked him to cut his dreadlocks.

Once again, we don’t have both sides of this story. But regardless, this battle is one that the Wildcats can’t win.

If they’re smart, they release Sutton from his scholarship ASAP. Let him go and move on.

The “pay the players” crowd is not one I’ve ever been a part of. In a day and age when college tuitions are pushing $70,000 at some universities, most players don’t end up being worth their cost over 4-5 years. A handful do (think, Tim Tebow), but most don’t come close. Also, Title IX likely wouldn’t allow teams to just pay football players. And as it is, even some of the biggest athletic programs in the country are losing money because of the amount they need to spend on non-revenue sports.

But when you see a program allegedly putting a kid in the position of Corey Sutton, it makes me sick.

As it is, coaches can skip town after signing a brand new recruiting class, no strings attached, for a “better opportunity”. Meantime, the players often need to get approved to transfer, get told where they can’t transfer, sometimes need to sit out a year and then can go on with their playing careers.

Once again, I’ve been a supporter, albeit lukewarm supporter, of the transfer rules as they are in place.

I’ve often assumed that common decency would win out and that coaches would, barring unforeseen or unexpected circumstances, let the players move on, within reason, as they please.

Let’s also not forget that Kansas State makes a living off Junior College players. Guess what they often are? Transfers! Whoa! So let’s not be hypocritical, K-State fans.

Also, if this story holds true, it will be used against Kansas State in recruiting. Other coaches will point to their inflexibility in the Corey Sutton story and use it to scare potential recruits considering the Wildcats. Considering Kansas State’s recruiting issues as is (a never-ending search for the “diamonds in the rough”), this is the last thing the program needs. Add in questions around Bill Snyder’s health, who might take over for him in the not-so-distant future, and you have a perfect storm for recruits to be convinced to not take their talents to Manhattan, Kansas.

Is that necessarily fair? Not it’s not.

But in the cutthroat world of college football recruiting, it’s reality.

So wise up, coach Snyder. Wise up, Kansas State.

Let Corey Sutton go. Release him of his scholarship and move on.

It will be best for everyone involved.

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