As far as the Colorado Rockies are concerned, former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson is a baseball player and will continue to be a baseball player throughout the remainder of the season.
"He has not once come to us and expressed an interest in playing football this year," Marc Gustafson, the Rockies' senior director of player development, said Tuesday in an interview. "It is not an issue between the Rockies and Russell. It has never been brought to our attention."
Wilson, N.C. State's starting quarterback the past three seasons, signed a contract with the Rockies last year but returned to lead the Wolfpack to a 9-4 season and a bowl victory. Wilson is the starting second baseman this season for the Asheville Tourists, the Rockies' Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.
In an April 21 interview, Wilson said he had not made a decision on whether to play one last year of football for the Wolfpack.
On Friday, however, N.C. State announced that Wilson had requested and been given a release from his scholarship, freeing him to play football at another school this year if he chose. Wilson created a stir the next day when he said he was "torn up" and heartbroken about not being able to rejoin the Wolfpack, that he would not have asked for a release had he been given the opportunity to compete with redshirt junior Mike Glennon for the starting quarterback job.
Gustafson said he had read the stories speculating where Wilson could land and play football, as well as the comments made by Wilson. Asked if he expected Wilson to play for the Tourists until their season ends Sept. 5, he said, "Absolutely."
Gustafson did not go into the specifics of Wilson's contract with the Rockies and the option to play football but said there is "protection for the club and protection for the player."
"When you have a football/baseball player or a baseball/football player, there are details in the contract that if you do pursue football, there might be some money that may have to be returned," he said. "But it's not an issue. It has not been brought up.
"Is an option open [for football]? It might be. But there has been no indication to us about any football activity, whatsoever. His total focus is on baseball."
Tourists outfielder Kyle Parker, a first-round draft pick by the Rockies last year, returned to Clemson and was the Tigers' starting quarterback last fall.
"Unfortunately, while I didn't play awful, I didn't play as well as I wanted to last year," Parker said. "That cleared up all the questions in my head, about whether I should play football or play baseball. Before, I loved them both but didn't know which one I could be better at."
Wilson, a fourth-round draft pick by the Rockies last year, could not be reached Tuesday for comment. The Tourists played the Greenville (S.C.) Drive in a Tuesday afternoon game.
Wilson, who has said his dream was to play Major League Baseball and in the NFL, ranks second in ACC history in touchdown responsibility with 93. He also played three baseball seasons for NCSU.
Wilson holds a communications degree from N.C. State. Under NCAA rules, graduates with a year of athletic eligibility remaining are allowed to move to another school and immediately compete.
Although Wilson was hitting just .215 entering Tuesday's game, Gustafson said Wilson has improved the last few weeks, and his fielding has been solid. Gustafson said he did not believe the talk about Wilson and N.C. State football was affecting his play with the Tourists.
"Is all this a distraction for Russell? Absolutely not. He's working as hard as anyone," he said. "We're big on Russell. He believes in himself and has a lot of confidence in himself.
"We want to see Russell Wilson in the big leagues."
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