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MARTIN SPEAKS ON SUSPENSIONS

Pullen, Kelly won’t return to practice until after Christmas

POSTED December 24, 2010 11:51 a.m.

MANHATTAN — In the aftermath of an 80-64 win over Missouri-Kansas City Thursday night at Bramlage Coliseum, Kansas State head basketball coach Frank Martin broke his silence about the suspensions of seniors Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly.
The duo was suspended by the NCAA prior to Kansas State’s 69-65 loss to UNLV on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., for receiving “impermissible benefits” in recent days at a Manhattan department store.
Martin said he received the news when he arrived back in Manhattan on Sunday from a road game against Florida in Sunrise, Fla.
Pullen and Kelly received discounted clothing from Dillards inside the Manhattan Town Center. The clerk who gave the players the “impermissible benefits” was fired from her job, and the NCAA slapped Pullen with a three-game suspension.
It has yet been confirmed, but Kelly’s suspension reportedly could be as many as six games.
“I visited with compliance (on Thursday) and there has been communication there to try and finalize our investigation into it, so we can then forward it to the appropriate people and then go from there,” Martin said. “We don’t have anything definitive there.”
Both Pullen and Kelly have not been with the team since the suspensions were made public. They haven’t been practicing with the team.
“I told them that I didn’t want to see them until after Christmas,” Martin said. “I take a lot of pride in our men doing things the right way and making right decisions. We’re not perfect, and they’re not perfect. They made a mistake.
“They need to understand that in life, there is repercussions when you don’t do things the right way in society and they have unbelievable responsibility to represent this university, our department, our basketball team and the guys that have played here before them and done things a certain way. They let a lot of people down, starting with themselves and their families, and they’re remorseful and with me being remorseful, I think, is the first step to get better. (Pullen and Kelly) will be back with us whenever we get back from Christmas.”
Pullen will also miss the North Florida game at Bramlage on New Year’s Eve, which tips off at 1 p.m., before having his suspension lifted on Jan. 3, when the Wildcats play Savannah (Ga.) State at home.
Accorrding to a published report in Thursday’s Manhattan Mercury, Pullen’s “impermissible benefit” was just slightly over the $100 threshold that the NCAA uses in determining punishment. Anything below that does not require an athlete to sit out games.
From $100 to $300, the NCAA requires the athlete to be ineligible for 10 percent of the team’s games at Kansas State this season, meaning three games.
From $300 to $500, the player would be ineligible for 20 percent, or six games, according to NCAA guidelines. And if the value was greater than $500, that would require sitting out 30 percent of the games.
In all cases, the player would have to repay the amount of the impermissible benefit.
A comparable case occurred at Kansas this season, where the NCAA determined that freshman basketball player Josh Selby had to sit out nine games — 30 percent of the team’s games — and repay $5,757.58 in “impermissible benefits” that he and his family received prior to signing a scholarship agreement with KU.

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