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Curtis Kelly’s suspension sending all the wrong signals

By now, you have surely heard that Kansas State’s Curtis Kelly has been suspended for six games by the NCAA for accepting discounted clothing at a department store.

Jacob Pullen was suspended for three games.

Why the difference?

Pullen was alleged to have received less than $300 in illegal benefits. The NCAA’s standard for that amount is 10% of that player’s season, or three game. Kelly received between $300 and $500 in illegal benefits, meaning he was required by the NCAA to miss 20% of the season, or six games.

Its all fairly standard, even if it does seem a bit unfair. Kansas freshman Josh Selby was determined to have received $6,000 in illegal benefits and only was suspended for nine games. Why? Because the NCAA views anything above $500 in illegal benefits as an automatic suspension of 30% of the season.

As Gary Parrish wrote this afternoon, the NCAA sent a message, but not exactly the one they may have intended on --
stay clean or go big:

The difference between $300 and $6,000 is three games.

And there’s really no difference between $600 and $6,000.

So, again, stay clean or go big. Don’t take a shirt, take a car. Don’t take shoes, take vacations. As I’ve pointed out many times, the odds of getting caught are extremely low, so you’re probably OK regardless. But the absolute dumbest thing you can do is what Pullen and Kelly did, i.e., get busted and pay a real price over something as small as a few hundred dollars worth of clothes.

It’s like risking your marriage on an ugly chick. Needless to say, you should never risk your marriage, period (I’m a married man and required to say that). But if you’re gonna pay the price, make sure it’s worth it. Shoot for Brooklyn Decker, Adriana Lima or Rachel Bilson -- Bilson is extremely underrated, by the way -- or at least somebody who looks like Brooklyn Decker, Adriana Lima or Rachel Bilson. Stay true or shoot for the stars.

Pullen and Kelly?

They hooked up with Ugly Betty.

Sounds about right.

Kansas State should be fine. Pullen will return after a game on New Year’s Eve against North Florida, while Kelly will also miss games against North Florida, at Colorado, and at home against Oklahoma State.

And for what its worth, Kelly being in the lineup doesn’t solve K-State’s biggest issues -- free throw shooting, leadership, and an overall lack of skill.

Athleticism and hustle only get you so far.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.