Jamar Samuels received a $200 wire transfer on Monday from DC Assault founder Curtis Malone, resulting in the Kansas State senior being ruled ineligible just prior to Saturday's matchup with Syracuse. Asked on Saturday, Malone readily admitted he sent the money, and that was that. Seems simple, right?
But look closer.
"If I knew it and wanted to hide it, I would have done it differently," Malone told CBSSports.com. "The kid's family doesn't have anything and he called me for money to eat."
I'm not even sure how one could be mad at Samuels for taking $200 because, as Malone said, his family needs to eat.
Look, this isn't a kid taking thousands or even a large sum of money. It's $200. Just $200 for a kid who comes from a rough background -- a single-parent home that, reading between the lines, struggled to make ends meet.
Read about Samuels' background. Watch Frank Martin's reaction after the game when asked about Samuels. Notice how quickly Malone offered up the information without trying to hide anything -- he told anyone who called to ask him about it the same thing. You think any of this is happening if the kid is doing something nefarious?
So the kid took some money. And he may have taken money before, for all we know. But accepting a handout, even against NCAA rules, to help his family? When he's not able to pocket cash for his services within NCAA rules? That scholarship isn't going to feed his family right now.
There's some kind of injustice in a kid having to sit the final game of his career because he was worried about his family eating. Samuels is, in many ways, a success story. He almost quit, was nearly booted from the program, and developed into a solid player and person.
And his college career ends with a question mark, all because of a relatively small handout to feed his family. Feel free to defend the ruling. I can't.