Big 12 News

The Latest from the Little Apple: Nae’Qwan Tomlin Drama, Collin Klein Now at Texas A&M

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Kansas State

It has been a fast and furious roller coaster of emotions for K-State sports fans over the last 24 hours. Offensive coordinator Collin Klein resigned to take the offensive coordinator job at Texas A&M, K-State basketball won an overtime thriller against Villanova in Bramlage Coliseum, while rumors are flying around about the suspension of star basketball player Nae’Qwan Tomlin and University president Richard Linton’s involvement in prolonging his suspension. There were even “Free Nae’Qwan” rallies held outside Linton’s residence on Wednesday. There are also strong rumors of friction between Linton and basketball coach Jerome Tang. Of course, social media is in an uproar about all of it. In order to cover it all, here is another version of Rapid Fire…

 

– K-State will hire a new offensive coordinator, and everything will be fine. Sure, losing Klein hurts, but reports are that Texas A&M doubled his salary. K-State is not in a position to pay an offensive coordinator upwards of two million dollars a year. Klein bleeds purple, but I do not blame him for making this move.

– There is a large pool of candidates who want the K-State offensive coordinator job. Whoever takes it or gets it will look like a genius in the next three years getting to run an offense with Avery Johnson running the show. That is what makes the job attractive. Freshman phenom quarterback Avery Johnson is likely in it for the long haul at K-State. I am not worried he will bolt to Texas A&M with Klein. Every indication is that he is a committed Wildcat and is ready and willing to take the reigns for the next few years.

– Chris Klieman may promote from within. I hope he goes after someone like ex-Texas Tech coach Matt Wells, but Wells may not be interested, and K-State may not have the money to get him. This is an opportunity for Klieman to hire a great recruiter as well as a great coach. Losing Klein may impact recruiting negatively, but it does not have to.

 

– K-State basketball had its biggest win of the season against Villanova. Almost the entire game I thought “It’s time for Tylor Perry to step up and make a big shot.” It finally happened at the end of the overtime period. Better late than never. That makes three overtime games in a row for K-State and three wins in those overtime games.

– Jerome Tang is undefeated, 9-0, in overtime games as K-State’s head coach. He can’t keep that up, can he? Perry hit the game-winner, but I was most impressed with Arthur Kaluma, who had 26 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. He almost single-handedly kept K-State in the game all night. Where was the spunk and fire from this group early in the season? Did it take a team like Villanova to wake them up? Add Nae’Qwan Tomlin back into the mix, and this team easily makes the NCAA tournament. Without him, they are likely a bubble team.

 

– Speaking of Tomlin, rumors suggest that University president Richard Linton made the call to keep him suspended, causing friction between Linton and Tang. Now, Tomlin is off the team, and there’s still a ton of confusion as to what’s going on with this situation.

– I’ve slept on it. I’ve gone from shock to anger. The lack of communication regarding the status of Nae’Qwan Tomlin from President Linton on down has been very poor. I understand there are things they cannot say, but there are also things you CAN say. They didn’t. The statement from Gene Taylor last night didn’t shed any light on the situation whatsoever. He mentioned some of the stuff online was untrue. Which stuff? Tell us. Saying this is the last that the department will speak of it is very weak when you have given us no reason why he was kicked off the team. Weak sauce. The way this situation was handled by the administration has been very poor. How are the football and basketball staff supposed to recruit in the future when “don’t ever make a mistake or you’re gone” is part of the recruiting pitch? I’m worried about how this affects all of the sports programs moving forward. It will not affect them positively, that’s for sure.

A petition is a nice sentiment, but it will do nothing. Need a different plan of action.

Tell us specifically why this decision was made. The waters are already muddied with rumors. Linton, Gene Taylor, and Jerome Tang need to clear this up for everyone. Immediately.

I’ll add that if Tomlin did something more egregious than we all think, I might be fine with this course of action. The lack of communication from everyone involved is what bothers me the most. If he did something worse than we all think, then tell us.

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