LARNED — Land O’ Goshen!
Somebody finally came to their senses in Manhattan!
The transfer saga of Leticia Romero finally reached a resolution Tuesday.
In case you are not up to speed, Leticia Romero was a basketball player for the Kansas State basketball team. She was K-State’s best player as a freshman, earning All-League honors.
When her coach, Deb Patterson , was fired, she wanted to transfer.
Kansas State played the bully.
They refused to let Romero go.
Romero didn’t ask to follow Patterson, she just wanted to go somewhere else and she was willing to abide by the NCAA transfer rules that meant she would have to sit out a year.
However, if the school you are playing for refuses to honor your request, it means that you can’t accept an athletic scholarship anywhere else.
Obviously, Romero being a foreigner, was dependent on the scholarship to fund her schooling.
This situation is a classic example of what is wrong with college athletics.
Why athletes are talking about forming unions.
Why athletes are joining together and bringing lawsuits against the “establishment,” the major universities of the NCAA.
A young lady travels from a foreign country to play for a certain coach. That coach leaves or is fired and the athlete is denied the privilege of also moving on.
This whole mess has brought Kansas State a lot of bad publicity.
It has also brought a lot of bad publicity to the NCAA.
Most of the sports world saw Kansas State’s actions as “petty and moronic.”
Athletic Director John Currie tried. He asked the appeals committee to change its ruling but they said NO.
Give Currie credit. He was able to convince the powers that be, including university president Kirk Schulz, that this was doing great damage to Kansas State.
Kansas State reversed course and granted Romero a release from her scholarship. She is now eligible to accept a scholarship from any university, except a Big 12 Conference school.
Romero had retained attorney Donald Jackson of Montgomery, Alabama, to help with the dispute. He said, “I was highly critical of Kansas State for the way they handled this case, but I am grateful that they finally took steps to make it right.”
Thus, Kansas State walks away from this fight bloodied and bruised. They were the bully that started the fight, but they took the biggest blows.
Gosh guys, couldn’t we have saved ourselves a beating in the national press and with upcoming recruits by just doing the right thing in the beginning?
Land O’ Goshen!
CHALK TALK — Speaking of bullying, the NCAA’s Legislative Council has approved a proposal to expand the meal allowance for all athletes. You think the NCAA isn’t paying attention to these threats of lawsuits and union organizing by college athletes? This proposal, though it is like only a drop of water to a man dying of thirst, is in response to those criticisms ... The NBA playoffs show us the Alpha and the Omega of pro basketball. The San Antonio Spurs win by playing team basketball with no top-dog stars and the Miami Heat win with a couple of big stars and a bunch of role players. Quite a contrast and it will probably come down to the two of them for the NBA title ... One-time owner of the Chicago White Sox, Bill Veeck (Veeck as in Wreck) always had a lot of great lines for the media. Here’s one, “I have discovered in 20 years of moving around the ballpark that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats!”
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.