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Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Curtis Kelly's suspension settled at six

By Eamonn Brennan

Sorting out the Kansas State Clothesgate mess -- in which star Wildcats Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly received impermissible benefits in the form of free clothing from a department store -- was merely a matter of settling on the length of each player's suspension. Pullen and Kelly missed K-State's loss to UNLV last week after the school was informed of the NCAA's finding. Pullen was hit with a three-game suspension, but Kansas State and the NCAA had yet to agree on the proper length of Kelly's punishment.

That agreement has been made. Per a release from Kansas State this morning, the NCAA has accepted K-State's recommended punishment, which amounts to a six-game suspension, repayment of any illicit benefits, and an educational program administered by KSU's compliance staff.

There's nothing particularly controversial about this; it's the standard suspension for the sort of benefits Kelly and Pullen received. The difference in length can be attributed to the monetary value of the clothing each player received. Pullen received less than $300, so his suspension equates to 10 percent of his team's games; Kelly received somewhere between $300 and $500, and was therefore docked 20 percent.

The good news? The two games Kelly has already missed can be counted against his overall suspension, so the Kansas State forward will be able to return after missing four more games. That means Kelly will miss Friday's game vs. North Florida, as well as dates with Savannah State, Oklahoma State, and Colorado. Considering the rigors of the Big 12 schedule that await a K-State team in desperate need of leadership, that's not so bad after all.

And, finally, Kelly's suspension teaches us a very valid moral: If you're a college basketball player or a college basketball recruit, and you're thinking about taking illicit benefits, either go big or go home.