Nae'Qwan Tomlin has officially left the building. The now former Kansas State forward was dismissed from the Kansas State basketball program after allegations of physical assault stemming from an August incident were brought to light. He has already committed to Memphis to play out the rest of this season and the rest of his eligibility. The university at first suspended Tomlin indefinitely while they made their decision on his future with K-State Athletics, pulling the trigger on the dismissal this past week on December 6th. You can find my thoughts regarding the Tomlin situation (and some opinions on the topic at hand) here. Fast-forward to the 23:37 minute mark to hear my full thoughts and opinions.
The topic at hand though, is how Kansas State President Richard Linton and Athletic Director Gene Taylor handled the situation. President Linton and AD Taylor were the two administrators who handled Nae'Qwan Tomlin's suspension and eventual dismissal. Many in the Kansas State community have called this handling brash, vague, hasty, and overall, incompetent. Tomlin was arrested in August and bailed out that next day, the evidence against him is "loose at best" when in all reality the evidence is still being discussed behind closed doors while the general public knows very little (though there were no video cameras in the establishment that this occurred at and most of the evidence open to the public is eyewitness), and Tomlin had allegedly already been granted a diversion by the courts. Lots of talking heads involved, most of them inaccurate with their information. Nobody knows who to believe, and it has frustrated the Kansas State fanbase to have to deal with such a lack of transparency.
I have to agree with them, in a way. There's really been nothing much said other than what Tomlin's punishment from the school has been thus far, and if he is truly on diversion, then the case should be closed and open to the general public, should it not? That's just it though, nobody really knows the status of Tomlin's case except for the police department and probably the school as well, so is there something they know that we don't? Jerome Tang put out a statement shortly after calls for protest and going to the state legislature to voice opinions were made by the K-State faithful. Students were lined up along President Linton's office lawn and calls were made to state legislators demanding reprieve and answers, however much of that stopped after Coach Tang told all to "move forward with love" and "support Tomlin rather than tear down the university." Tang's call for peace more or less worked, but there were still many calls for President Linton's job. Many are concerned that Tang will leave after this season after the debacle that has gone on and that this will drive away players and recruits. Linton didn't make a statement until after both Tang and Taylor (likely at the behest of Linton) made theirs, and the whole thing seemed awfully seedy on the part of Kansas State's president.
It's not like those calling for his job behaved any better though, in fact in some cases, they behaved worse. Some pointed to Linton's diagnosis of cancer and said they hoped he would die from it. Truly awful things are being said in the name of sports, which is why I am honestly not sure who to side with here. Yes, Linton has shown a grave lack of transparency and cowardice by throwing Gene Taylor under the bus and not really making a great statement on his own, but calling for not only someone's job, but their LIFE over sports? Unnecessarily cruel and unusual behavior like that has no place in sport, let alone in life. Yes, Jerome Tang might leave, but it won't be entirely because of Linton's actions if this is the type of behavior displayed by Kansas State fans. My opinion, I suppose, is that of indifference. President Linton has shown that rash action and lack of transparency can be deadly in situations like these, but are we to believe he wasn't forced into this action by irrational, angry fans who couldn't tolerate a criminal investigation running its course? These things take time, and the fact that there was so much panic and outrage over a potential domestic abuser not playing for your basketball team is pretty low. This point right here is why it's incomparable to things such as the Josh Jackson and Arterio Morris situations for Kansas. No Kansas fans wanted the university president to step down, there were no protests, and there were no calling of state legislators. The fanbase of Kansas State HAS TO move forward with love as Jerome Tang said, otherwise, you may just lose him and you continue to paint yourselves in the bad light you were already painted in by personalities such as Bruce Weber and others.
However, what do you think about this situation? Was the outrage justified toward President Linton? Was it only a select group that took it too far, or did the fanbase as a whole act too irrational? Did President Linton act correctly, or was he too rash in his decision? Leave your thoughts in the comments and on social media for a chance to be featured on the next ScorchCast.