Hughes Dismissed from Team

Kansas State athletics director Tim Weiser announced Monday afternoon that Tyler Hughes has been dismissed from the men's basketball program.

Hughes, a Wildcat senior, was registered on July 25 on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation sex offender database for aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

On the dismissal from the Wildcat team, Weiser said in a prepared statement: "After thoroughly investigating the facts as we know them, we feel it is in Tyler's best interest, as well as the University's, that we sever our relationship."

Weiser told the Manhattan Mercury this morning that, ''In talking with Tyler and his father (Rodney) on Monday, I told them I tried to look at this from the standpoint of being an AD and from the standpoint of being a dad.

''I wanted to do what's right for both the program, and Tyler as well,'' Weiser said. ''But if I was to err, it would be on the side of protecting the university.''

Hughes' father said that the charge ''...isn't what it seems at all,'' and offered only a ''no comment'' this morning on how Kansas State handled the situation.

Rodney Hughes said, ''He's done playing basketball. (Pause) He's done with a lot of stuff. The public court's opinion is that he's ruined.''

Also giving a ''no comment'' on how Tyler was doing, the elder Hughes said, ''It's time to pick up and move on. We hope it goes good for coach (Bob) Huggins.''

While Weiser said he knew nothing of the incidents or charges until Saturday afternoon, he said at least portions of the incidents were known by members of the Jim Wooldridge coaching staff at the time of Hughes' recruitment out of Olathe North High School.

The Mercury has learned from Johnson Country District Attorney Paul Morrison that there were two victims, both males and under the age of 14, and that Hughes pled guilty to a single charge.

The Mercury has confirmed that the indecent activities went on for a number of years.

Morrison said that the charges did not come until several years after the incident, which he said was uncommon, but not totally rare.

There are three sub-sections to the charge of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Two deal with sexual intercourse or lewd fondling and touching of a child who is 14 or more years, but less than 16.

The third is engaging in lewd fondling or touching with the intent to arouse or to satisfy sexual desires with a child who is under 14 years of age.

The records of the case are sealed by law.

Rodney Hughes would only say, ''There are a lot of things I would like to say, but by law, I can't. It's not what it seems. But no matter right or wrong, it still doesn't look good."

Hughes did say that Tyler did not plead down to the existing charge.

Weiser said that Hughes will be granted a release, but that an offer to continue his scholarship was not given.

''Based on the language of the scholarship that was signed this past July during the annual renewal process, there are reasons why aid can be revoked and serious misconduct is one of those.''

Hughes started five games and played in 69 games at Kansas State averaging 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.


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