Dr. Saturday

Kansas State won’t grant lineman Manase Foketi his release

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(Wichita Eagle)

Yet another college football player in the state of Kansas is fighting for a release from his university.

According to the Wichita Eagle, Kansas State senior left tackle Manase Foketi has one year of eligibility remaining and he would like to spend that time with another program. Foketi didn't participate in spring workouts, graduated in May and has been home with his family in Fontana, Calif., waiting for Kansas State to grant his release.

However, that might never happen.

Foketi, who started 13 games in 2010, suffered a season-ending injury early in the 2011 season — what should have been his senior season — and the Wildcats continued to pay for his school with the hope he would come back and anchor the line in 2012.

"They were saying that I owe it to K-State to play another year for them," Foketi told the Wichita Eagle by phone. "It was something dumb like that. I got hurt and they gave me my year back and now they want me to play my senior year for them. They say I owe them.

"Well, I've never redshirted before. This was my first redshirt year. It's not like they had to fight for it. I've got my degree. I don't see what else there is to do at Kansas State."

Foketi's original request for release was denied and then his appeal was denied earlier this week.

Former Kansas quarterback Brock Berglund knows this process all too well. The Jayhawks denied his transfer because the school said he owed the program for a year he didn't play but did get his tuition paid. Kansas relented in the appeals process after Berglund showed up with a lawyer, but he was ready to take the Jayhawks to court to win his freedom.

Foketi's only recourse to move on to another school might be going through the legal system.

Similar to the Berglund case, the university is trying to hold on to a player that doesn't want to be there. Kansas State is tying up a scholarship that could be used for a player that actually wants to play for the team. Why would a program want a player that doesn't want it? What good does that do the rest of the team? All you're doing is bringing unnecessary negativity into the locker room. And while Foketi is a good player, the Wildcats did win 10 games and play in the Cotton Bowl last year without him.

"I want to move on and close this chapter in my life, but they aren't letting me. They are blocking me and have denied my transfer request," Foketi told the paper. "I have no hard feelings toward them, but it's just the way it is. If someone isn't comfortable somewhere they should have the right to leave. I don't know how they are able to hold me."

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