Kansas State athletic director John Currie claimed Tuesday that a receipt showing an illicit payment to forward Jamar Samuels was brought to the school’s attention after someone found it in the trash at a grocery store.
Article continues below ...
"It was found just on the floor, in the trash at the grocery store, and it was brought to the compliance office," Currie said, according to The Kansas City Star.
"I promise you, I wish it would have stayed in the trash."
After the university’s compliance office was made aware of the apparent $200 wire transfer to Samuels from his former Washington, D.C., AAU coach, Currie suspended the senior from the team’s third-round loss to Syracuse in the NCAA tournament.
"We do not have people out combing the trash cans in Manhattan [Kansas] searching for trouble. Once it came into our possession, for us to do nothing would have risked the integrity of the institution," Currie said.
Currie did not say who found the receipt, but it appeared to show that Samuels had violated an NCAA rule prohibiting players from taking money or gifts from non-family members.
The decision to suspend Samuels was reportedly a breaking point in the relationship between Currie and head coach Frank Martin, who was introduced Tuesday as the new coach at South Carolina.
Kansas State president Kirk Schulz, however, claimed that the alleged rift between Currie and Martin had been exaggerated.
Martin has defended Samuels, saying he did not believe his leading rebounder had done anything wrong. Over the weekend, while working as an NCAA tournament analyst on CBS, Martin said he routinely sent money to his ex-players during his time as a Miami high school coach.
"Jamar walked into an unfortunate situation. … He didn’t ask an agent for money. He didn’t ask a booster for money," Martin said on the broadcast.
"He didn’t take advantage of being a student-athlete, because he asked someone he met [before] he got into an NCAA institution for money. He asked a person who has been a father figure in his life since he was about 12 years of age."
The 46-year-old Martin led Kansas State to four NCAA tournament appearances in five seasons, going 117-54. He now takes over a South Carolina program that has not reached the NCAA tournament since 2004.