Thomas issue 'Hot Topic' at Press Conference

One Saturday without a game plus one incident concerning the Big 12's leading rusher equals one hot topic at the weekly K-State football press conference. Coach Snyder addresses the "Clayton" issue and playing time at Running Back....

Junior running back Thomas Clayton is "in the process of responding" to the consequences of his "error in judgment."

This is according to coach Bill Snyder's opening comments at Tuesday's weekly press conference. What are the consequences? Snyder would not divulge any information on that - whether it's extra sprints after practice or a suspension of playing time, that's up to the general public to speculate.

While terms of the disciplinary actions are unclear, it seems to be a good bet that if Clayton would see any sort of suspension of playing time, it would mean more action for red shirt freshman Parrish Fisher. Fisher did not receive any carries in the Wildcats last action, at Marshall, but Snyder said it was probably a poor decision on his part.

"I thought (Fisher) played awfully well in the very first ball game," Snyder said. "I'm disappointed we didn't get him in the ballgame this past Saturday."

Snyder did say that being barred from talking to the media was not a consequence of Clayton's action, but other factors kept Clayton from appearing in front of the press on Tuesday. "Thomas was requested to be here," Snyder said.

"It was my intent to allow Thomas to be here, and Thomas was on board with that and wanted to have an opportunity to express himself. And I want him to have that. Because it hasn't been settled yet, legally, we'll wait until that takes place."

Snyder said that any possible legal repercussions were still undecided upon. "What happens from a legal standpoint still remains to be seen," Snyder said. "I think that will take place in the very, very near future."

Senior offensive tackle and team captain Jeromey Clary said that Clayton had apologized to the team, and the team was accepting Clayton with open arms. "People make mistakes," Clary said, "and we're not going to hold it against him.

In sitting down to talk to the media, Snyder addressed the Clayton situation first thing, before anyone had time to ask a question about it. "I want you to understand that I haven't and won't make excuses for Thomas or any player in our program," Snyder said. "I'm not trying to make light of any actions of any player in our program, including Thomas."

Snyder said Clayton had no intent to harm, and did not harm, anyone. "He was wrong in departing from where he was," Snyder said. "He accepts that responsibility. He knows that there are consequences, and he is in the process of responding to those consequences."

In further discussion about Clayton, Snyder reiterated points he had mentioned during Monday's league teleconference. "Thomas is a good young person," Snyder said. "Thomas is not prone to being a trouble maker."

In closing, Snyder spoke a phrase that struck the true reason of why the media had entered Vanier Football Complex in the first place. - "Now, I will address football, if you're interested."

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