Kansas State senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin granted diversion after disorderly conduct arrest

Kansas State men’s basketball player Nae’Qwan Tomlin has been granted diversion in connection to his October arrest for disorderly conduct.

A representative with the Manhattan Municipal Court confirmed that Tomlin attended an out-of-court conference with Riley County diversion officers on Thursday and that his request to enter the diversion program was approved.

This is an important step for Tomlin, a 6-foot-10 senior forward, as he works to return to the Wildcats as an active member of the team. Tomlin is currently suspended from the roster and he has not played in a single game this season.

K-State basketball coach Jerome Tang indefinitely suspended Tomlin after he was arrested for “disorderly conduct” and “brawling or fighting” in the Manhattan bar district known as Aggieville on Oct. 29.

Tang has provided no timeline for a possible return with Tomlin, going as far as to say “I don’t know if he’s coming back.” But he has also made it clear that both sides could have a conversation about Tomlin returning to the roster after his legal issues are resolved.

“There is still a process that is out of our hands that he is going through,” Tang said last week. “But we are loving him and we are supporting him. He is doing all of the things he needs to do here on campus that we have asked of him.”

It certainly seems like Tomlin cleared a hurdle in his journey back to the basketball court.

Now that Tomlin’s application for diversion has been approved, the county will postpone criminal proceedings against him. In return, he will agree to pay a fine and also abide by any other conditions set forth in the diversion program, such as completing a certain number of community service hours or attending anger management classes.

A copy of Tomlin’s diversion agreement was not readily available as of Thursday afternoon.

If Tomlin successfully completes all requirements of the diversion program, his disorderly conduct charge will be dismissed.

Tomlin was expected to be a major contributor for the Wildcats this season as they look to build on a successful first year under Tang, which ended with 26 victories and a trip to the Elite Eight.

K-State signed Tomlin out of junior college last season and he immediately helped the Wildcats as a starter in the frontcourt, averaging 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was so good during his first year at K-State that he tried out for several NBA teams during the spring before deciding to return to college for his senior year.

But it has been a disappointing start to the season for Tomlin. He has been away from the K-State basketball team for most of the past two months, as he also missed significant stretches of the preseason while he dealt with what Tang described as “personal issues.”

The Wildcats are off to a 2-1 start without Tomlin, opening the season with a loss to USC and bouncing back with wins over Bellarmine and South Dakota State.

K-State plays Providence on Friday in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship. The team arrived in the Bahamas Tuesday and will return after playing either Georgia or Miami there on Sunday.

Perhaps Tomlin will have a path back to the K-State basketball team at some point afterward.