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K-State will not expel student for George Floyd tweet, promises diversity and inclusion efforts

Following similar pushes at Mississippi State, Texas and Oklahoma State, Kansas State players over the weekend pledged to boycott all team activities as long as one of their fellow students remained enrolled.

K-State student Jaden McNeil last Thursday sent a tweet -- since deleted for violating Twitter rules -- saying, "Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!"

While there was no question McNeil's tweet was offensive and abhorrent, it was extremely questionable whether Kansas State had the legal authority to expel him for a single tweet.

Now, nearly a week later, it's clear K-State believes it cannot do such a thing.

"There have been many calls for us to expel a student who posted racist messages on social media, and while these messages are disrespectful and abhorrent, we cannot violate the law," K-State president Richard Myers said in a letter to university stake holders on Wednesday.

Myers released an 11-point plan of actionable steps the university can take to increase diversity and inclusion, which includes "Increase efforts to raise retention and graduation rates of students of color with annual measurable goals" and "Develop a policy on social media usage for students that balances our institutional values and free speech. Currently one exists for faculty and staff."

On top of that, K-State athletics has released its own list of initiatives aimed at increasing outreach and outcomes for minority students.

This is a continuation of the messaging Kansas State has maintained throughout this crisis, when Wildcats AD Gene Taylor and head coach Chris Klieman put out their own statements in response to McNeil's tweet. Klieman released this follow-up statement on Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether these efforts will prove to be enough to lift the pledged boycott, which clearly put the K-State administration in a legally untenable position, but the guess here is we'll see Kansas State's football team return to action soon.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.