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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.

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.