MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Jerome Tang met with the media Tuesday morning ahead of K-State’s upcoming exhibition match against Emporia State.
The Wildcats play the Hornets on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
However, Tang didn’t just discuss the upcoming exhibition game. He was also rather open about senior forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin, who was suspended from the team on Monday. The suspension came after Tomlin was arrested in Aggieville Sunday morning.
“Our responsibility as coaches, as men, as mentors is to hold these guys accountable and to love them through the consequences, not love them around it,” Tang said. “[Nae’Qwan] is going to have to show that he has learned something from this.”
Tang says the legal process is ongoing and they will also deal with it internally. He did not offer a timeline for when Tomlin could rejoin the team. The suspension was listed as indefinite.
“Right now I’m really not even focused on [when he can rejoin the basketball team] as much as I’m focused on that young fella getting better every day, and moving in the right direction, and recognizing what his downfalls are and learning to develop a plan to avoid those situations,” Tang said.
The second-year head coach says its a teaching moment for both Tomlin and other players on the team.
“We tell people all the time that a smart person learns from their own mistake but a wise person learns from other peoples mistakes,” he said. “…Our team, hopefully, can learn from someone else’s mistake. Hopefully then [Nae’Qwan] can show that he has learned something from his mistake.”
27 Sports Director Glenn Kinley asked Tang what the conversations have been like with Tomlin since his arrest.
“I just told him what the decision was and I’m going to let him handle that part of the process that’s outside of our program,” Tang said. “We’re going to make sure that he is going to class and getting the help that he needs.”
The suspension comes because the coaching staff cares about Tomlin, Tang says.
“It’s never fun discipling your children,” Tang said. “But the bible is very clear that the greatest form of love is discipline. Whom a father loves he disciplines. A lot of people run away from it and that’s never been one of my shortcomings. I’m thankful that God made me in a way that I’m not afraid of confrontation. I’m not afraid of holding people accountable because to me it’s a service of love. I hope that all the people I come into contact with… they respect me because I’m going to tell you the truth and I’m going to hold you accountable.”
Tomlin started all 36 games for K-State in the 2022-23 season.