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Leticia Romero’s request to be released from scholarship finally granted

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For more than a month the Kansas State athletic department refused to grant guard Leticia Romero’s request to be released from her scholarship, citing concerns about members from the previous coaching staff using her status in order to gain employment at another school. However as the month progressed and criticism grew, athletic director John Currie had a change of heart, writing a letter to the school’s appeals committee on Romero’s behalf.

But the group did not reverse its decision to deny Romero’s appeal, stating that it’s verdict was final.

Something changed between that point in time and today, with Kansas State announcing Tuesday that Romero will be released from her scholarship and is now free to transfer to any school not in the Big 12. It’s about time.

“We appreciate the support of K-State fans during this time and wish Leticia all the best in her future pursuits,” Currie said in a statement released by the school.

Romero would have been free to transfer to another school without the release, but she would not have have been able to receive a scholarship. A native of the Canary Islands, Romero joined the program due to the presence of then-head coach Deb Patterson and decided to leave after the coaching staff was not retained.

According to GoPowercat.com Tuesday’s announcement comes as a result of the school modifying its institutional policy regarding transfers. Was this really the case? Or did the amount of criticism the school received over the last month-plus lead to the move to grant Romero’s request to be released?

Regardless of what the answer is it doesn’t do a school much good to hold onto a player who doesn’t want to be a part of the program. And in cases of “tampering,” the presence of actual proof should be necessary.

No. 13 Iowa State suspends Jameel McKay indefinitely

Iowa State forward Georges Niang, forward Jameel McKay, forward Abdel Nader and guard Deonte Burton celebrate after center Stuart Nezlek scored late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Coppin State, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 104-84 (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.

Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.

McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.

The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.

News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.

UNLV dismisses guard Daquan Cook from team

Illinois v UNLV
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LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.

Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.

Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.

Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.