At What Cost?

Curtis KellyEvery serious K-State fan knows what happened this week.  At least we know a few bits and pieces.  Message boards started going crazy on Tuesday, and the K-State Twitter world soon followed, when rumors started to fly about Curtis Kelly.  He was kicked off the team for failing drug tests.  He was still on the team, and the best player ever.  He broke some rules, but we don’t know what.  He probably beat his girlfriend in the middle of the night too (oh wait, sorry, that’s KU).  Since then tons of rumors have flown around, but nothing official has been stated until today.  Curtis Kelly is still a member of the team, is practicing, and will play Saturday against Colorado.  Everything else at this point is rumor, speculation, and unnamed sources.

It just raised a question over the past few days… at what cost do we want to win? Now this isn’t necessarily a question about the Curtis Kelly situation (or non situation, whichever the case may be). It’s a question of ethics and character vs. winning.  I can only think of one program in college basketball that consistently wins and does not have consistent public character issues… and let’s face it, Kansas State is not Duke.  You only have to look 75 miles east to see a program that consistently wins, but stars girlfriend beaters, sexual assaulters, and a kid who took thousands of dollars and somehow only was suspended for 9 games… hypothetically speaking, of course.

So the question to be raised is, which do we want to be?  A team that wins, or a team that is clean?  Can that exist in the same program outside of Durham? Maybe it’s my cynicism, but I’m just not sure it can anymore.  Not in big time sports.  I want to say the right thing, but I’ve found myself over the past few days just wanting this whole situation (or non situation, whichever the case may be) with Curtis Kelly to just go away.  Play, and let the chips fall where they may once the season, and his collegiate career, are over.  And that may just be what is happening.  But that goes against everything I’ve always thought I am as a fan.

So I have to ask myself, and all the other K-State fans out there, who are we really?