Samuels, who is from a low-income single-parent family, reportedly accepted $200 for food from his long-time family friend and former AAU coach. Upon learning of these allegations, Kansas State suspended Samuels just shortly before what would have been h
Riverside, CA— The National College Players Association (NCPA) is calling on Kansas State to launch an investigation into whether or not the university violated basketball player Jamar Samuels’ rights guaranteed to him as a Kansas State student. Samuels, who is from a low-income single-parent family, reportedly accepted $200 for food from his long-time family friend and former AAU coach. Upon learning of these allegations, Kansas State suspended Samuels just shortly before what would have been his final game, seemingly without any form of due process. Kansas State appears to have ended Samuels’ college career without granting him the basic rights that it guarantees all of its students as outlined in the Kansas State Student Code of Conduct.
NCPA President Ramogi Huma sent a letter to Kansas State President Kirk Schulz calling for an investigation into whether or not Samuels was denied his rights as a Kansas State student.
Huma stated, “We are calling for an investigation to determine whether or not Kansas State violated one of its student’s rights on behalf of the NCAA.”
The Kansas State Student Government Association Bylaws outline various rights afforded to students accused of violating the Code of Conduct including knowledge of their rights, a fair hearing, and the right to appeal a decision.
In addition to the process of the suspension, the NCPA is questioning the nature of the suspension. “Whether or not Samuels received $200 for food, why would Kansas State or any other university subject their athletes to unjust rules that leave players valued at six figures living in poverty?”
Huma is referring to an NCPA study conducted jointly with the Drexel University Department of Sports Management showing that the fair market value for the average basketball player at an FBS school is approximately $265,000 per year. The study also revealed that NCAA rules leave 85% of these athletes living below the federal poverty line. In 2010, Jamar Samuels and his teammates had a fair market value of $291,000 each but NCAA rules forces them to live approximately $4000 below the federal poverty line. In contrast, John Currie, the athletic director who suspended Samuels received over $400,000 last year and outgoing head basketball coach Frank Martin is enjoying a salary of more than $1.5 million this year.
“There is a blatant conflict of interest at the heart of this suspension. Universities nationwide are colluding with the NCAA to strip their players of their market value to such a degree that their athletes struggle to pay for basic necessities,” stated Huma. The basketball players playing in this year’s Final Four have an average fair market value of a whopping $846,000 each but live more than $2000 below the federal poverty line.
Athletic director John Currie stated that once the university became aware of evidence that Samuels received the grocery money, “…to do nothing would have risked the integrity of the institution." However questions about the integrity of the university’s actions in regards to protecting Samuels’ rights as a student have yet to be answered. The NCPA hopes that an investigation will bring some answers.