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Bill Snyder blocked a player’s transfer list of 35 schools, then relented

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Corey Sutton initially asked for his release earlier this month.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Update:

Original: Kansas State wide receiver Corey Sutton is looking to transfer away from the program, but according to him, his scholarship release is not being granted.

Earlier this month, Sutton announced his intentions to transfer after one season, via his Twitter account. But according to The Wichita Eagle, head coach Bill Snyder isn’t granting his scholarship release.

Sutton gave the school a list of 35 schools, all of which were denied.

“When I originally told Coach Snyder I was going to transfer he said, ‘Well, Corey, I feel bad that you want to leave, but I can’t make you stay,’ ” Sutton said via The Wichita Eagle. “I dropped all my classes, moved out of Kansas and started looking at my options, then I find out they are denying me my release.

“Coach Snyder told me today that when I signed my letter of intent that was my commitment to him, that I was going to be there for four years. I heard that and told him, ‘Coaches can leave. So why can’t a player leave? You made a commitment to me that you were going to treat me the right way and that’s not what you’re doing.’ ”

Sutton told the newspaper that his list did not include any Big 12 schools, or future teams that Kansas State will face, and some were even FCS and Division II schools. The receiver appealed that ruling on Wednesday, but the decision was upheld.

Kansas State’s new athletic director Gene Taylor told CBS Sports on Friday that he has 15 days to overturn the appeal decision.

The head coach expanded on his reasoning.

Snyder spoke Thursday evening with a local television affiliate, KCTV5. The clip is broken up into some different parts.

“If you’re a No. 2, you probably want to be a No. 1, and if you have the option to leave, and you’ve got 22 No. 2s on your team leaving, then you don’t have much of a team left. It doesn’t make sense to not try to prevent that from happening.”

Sutton caught four passes for 54 yards last season as a true freshman.

“I’ve been around there for 28 years, and that young man was in our program for less than two years. I think our fans know what I’m about, they know what our program is about, and I think they trust that.”

He went on to discuss what he refers to as “the article,” which is presumably The Wichita Eagle’s.

“Very little of that is accurate, or true. If you do right, and abide by the law, and our regulations — you know this was a young man that tested twice, tested positive twice. I’ve never kept a player in our program who’s tested positive two times. But we had some rules within our athletic department that allowed that to happen this time.”

K-State’s AD added that he wasn’t sure what Snyder meant about the drug test comments.

"That's where I'm not sure. I think coach is [saying] that," said Taylor via CBS Sports.

Taylor replaced former K-State AD John Currie this past March, who accepted the same job at Tennessee in February.

Sutton can leave K-State, but Snyder won’t release him from his scholarship. He’ll need that to play somewhere else.

Snyder also spoke with WHB 810 AM on Thursday.

“It’s my commitment that once we have signed the youngster that we’re committed to him as long as he behaves himself,” Snyder said as transcribed by The Wichita Eagle. “I accept a youngster that comes into our program as making a similar commitment with a handshake and obviously a signed piece of paper.”

“I’ve always said a youngster is free to leave, but I’m not going to release the youngster. It doesn’t mean that he can’t go someplace else and play. He can certainly do that. He wouldn’t be on athletic scholarship for a year’s period of time but could still go and play and then have a scholarship after that.”

Sutton is free to leave, but the receiver won’t be able to be a scholarship player at another FBS school without a release from Kansas State. AthleticScholarships.net has more.

While the NLI is in effect, it can impact a transfer in two ways. First, the NLI includes a recruiting ban, so other schools may not recruit you until you are released from that ban. Second, the NLI includes a penalty if you do not attend the school you signed with for one academic year. If you do not fulfill the NLI and enroll in another NLI school, you may not compete for one year and you lose one season of eligibility in all sports.

We’ve seen a situation like this before.

In 2013, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy blocked the transfer of quarterback Wes Lunt, who requested to go to a list of 37 schools. Gundy later lifted some, and Lunt transferred to Illinois.

The Sutton situation is an odd one, given how consistently Kansas State has landed graduate and JUCO transfers over the years.