Kansas State forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin was suspended indefinitely on Monday following his arrest for “disorderly conduct; brawling or fighting” at Tubby’s Sports Bar in Manhattan. Head coach Jerome Tang made the official announcement on Monday evening.
Tang spoke to members of the media on Tuesday afternoon which marked the first appearance since the decision to suspend Tomlin indefinitely from the program, and was asked to speak about what the process of Tomlin’s return to the team might look like.
Tang’s original statement on Monday night reads, “I have indefinitely suspended Nae’Qwan Tomlin for not living up to the expectations we require of our players. Although he is not with the team, he is still part of our family, and we will do what [we] can to support him as he moves through this process.”
While the announcement of Tomlin’s suspension from the program seemed somewhat abrupt, Tang cleared the air on the situation and was honest about the fact that Tomlin may not return to the program in the future if he does not meet certain life expectations.
“Our responsibility as coaches, as men, as mentors, is to hold these guys accountable and to love them through the consequences, not love them around it. Qwan is going to have to show that he’s learned something from this.”
While the second-year head coach did leave it up to Tomlin to decide what’s next for him in the process, Tang made it clear that there are still elements, like the legal process, that have to be dealt with before discussing a return.
“There’s still a process that’s going on that we have no control over that has to take place,” Tang said. “Then we find out what happens there and then we’re going to deal with what we have to deal with here, so I’m not putting a timetable on it.”
Tang mentioned that the possibility of getting Tomlin back on the court is still there but it’s going to be out of the focus until the coaching staff is sure that the New York native is back in the right mindset to work.
“Right now I’m really not even focused on that as much as I’m focused on that young fella getting better every day,” Tang said. “Moving in the right direction, and recognizing what his pitfalls are and what his downfalls are, and learning to develop a plan to avoid those situations.”
Despite Tomlin’s team status, the Wildcats head to Las Vegas on Monday, November 6th to take on Bronny James and the USC Trojans as they get set to tip off the 2023-24 season on TNT.