Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has doubled down on his decision to block former Wildcats wide receiver Corey Sutton from transferring out of the program this season, holding him to his scholarship agreement by eliminating 35 schools from contention for the player.
Snyder met with reporters on Tuesday and used his legacy -- his name is on the stadium -- and experience as leverage in the ongoing public battle between player and coach.
"I've been around there for 28 years; the young man was in our program for less than two years," Snyder said. "I think our fans know what I'm about. They know what our program is about. I think they trust that.
"The feeling all along, if you're a No. 2, you probably want to be a No. 1. If you have the option to leave and you have 22 No. 2s on your team leaving, you don't have much of a team left. It doesn't make sense to not try to prevent that from happening."
It seemed Snyder is against the "free agent" aspects of the transfer process, but then he pointed the attention to Sutton, saying the former Wildcat had failed two drug tests during his time with the program. (See the video above.)
Sutton announced his decision to transfer in early May, but nearly a month later, Sutton says that Kansas State and Snyder have not granted him his release yet despite originally telling him it would be OK.
Furthermore, according to Sutton, he gave Kansas State a list of 35 schools he would be interested in transferring to -- including some FCS and Division II options -- and KSU rejected every single one of them.
"Coach Snyder told me [Wednesday] that, when I signed my letter of intent, that was my commitment to him, that I was going to be there for four years," Sutton explained. "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.'"
Snyder's first response to Sutton's story came in an interview on Sports Radio 810. The longtime Kansas State coach argued that while he won't release a player -- thereby allowing him to pursue a scholarship agreement elsewhere immediately -- that player is free to leave and walk-on at another school immediately, he will just have to wait a year before going back on scholarship.
"It's my commitment that once we have signed the youngster, that we're committed to him as long as he behaves himself. 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," Snyder said, via Kansas State's Rivals' site.
"It doesn't mean 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 go on scholarship after that. That's a choice they have to make. I've told the young man, and have told him all along, we'd love for him to stay in the program. Anyways, at the end of the day, that's always been my policy, as I said. There's a lot of things being said out there, some of them that I'm not even aware of."
For the most part, Snyder is universally beloved by the college football world -- both fans and media -- but blocking Sutton from transferring is just a bad look for him and Kansas State.
Sutton clearly wants to leave. Snyder and Kansas State should just let him go.