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[rl]The incident that resulted in the last-minute suspension of Kansas State's Jamar Samuels prior to Saturday's NCAA Tournament game with Syracuse centers around a $200 Western Union money transfer that took place at a Manhattan Kan., grocery store, a source told GoPowercat.com on Saturday.
According to the source, Samuels received $200 in cash via wire transfer from DC Assault president Curtis Malone, who oversees the AAU organization for which Samuels once played.
"He was out of money and he was hungry," the source said.
Malone admitted to sending Samuels money to the Topeka Capital-Journal this afternoon, but did not believe it to be a violation of NCAA rules, as Malone is not a supporter or booster of K-State.
According to sources, Samuels was seen accepting the cash by an unnamed third party who notified either school or NCAA officials of the transaction. The decision to sit the senior for Saturday's NCAA Tournament game was made by athletic department officials, not coach Frank Martin, who maintained his player's innocence after the loss to the Orange.
"Jamar, in my opinion, has done nothing wrong," he said. "But the school has to protect its integrity. I wasn't part of the decision."
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Athletics director John Currie declined to offer details on the situation, only saying it was not related to academics and that the university was working diligently to get the issue resolved.
"It's an eligibility issue that would typically indicate an NCAA issue," Currie said. "We're working to get it resolved as quickly as we can."
"That's our total focus."
Samuels five-year Wildcat career ended on Saturday, when K-State fell to 79-59 to Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament's round of 32.