K-State grants Leticia Romero release to transfer outside Big 12

05/27/2014 12:50 PM

06/05/2014 12:10 PM

The transfer saga of Leticia Romero has finally reached a resolution.

Kansas State announced on Tuesday that it has granted Romero a release from her basketball scholarship. She is now eligible to transfer to any school outside the Big 12 and receive financial aid immediately. She will not be eligible to play until the 2015-16 season, per NCAA transfer rules.

It ends a transfer battle that made national headlines for more than a month.

“We appreciate the support of K-State fans during this time,” K-State athletic director John Currie said in a statement released by the school, “and wish Leticia all the best in her future pursuits.”

K-State initially denied Romero’s release over tampering concerns from the former coaching staff, and vowed to uphold the ruling of an appeals committee as recently as Wednesday.

Momentum began swinging Romero’s way last week when a letter from Currie to the appeals committee, dated May 5, surfaced in the media. In the letter, Currie urged the committee to reverse its ruling. His change of heart was due to new information he had learned after speaking with Romero. He was no longer concerned about tampering issues.

But K-State issued a release stating that no university administrator could overturn the ruling of an appeals committee. The university considered the matter closed.

On Tuesday, the university changed its stance and granted Romero a release as a result of a newly modified school policy that allows Currie the freedom to release student-athletes if new information or circumstances warrant the release.

Without a scholarship release, Romero could still enroll at another school, but she would not have been eligible for an athletic scholarship for a year.

Romero, from Las Palmas, Spain, was the Wildcats’ top player a year ago. As a freshman, she led the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and minutes played. She was also chosen Big 12 freshman of the week four times.

She asked for a release from her scholarship shortly after K-State fired coach Deb Patterson and hired Jeff Mittie as her replacement. But her request was denied by K-State officials. She then appealed that ruling before a committee last month, and was again denied.

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