As far as the Colorado Rockies are concerned, 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 in an interview Tuesday. "It is not an issue between the Rockies and Russell. It has never been brought to our attention."
In an interview 12 days ago, Wilson said he had not made a decision on whether he would return to N.C. State for a final year of football. Wilson signed a contract with the Rockies last year and is playing baseball this season for the Asheville Tourists, the Rockies' Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.
But late last week, NCSU announced the star quarterback had been given a release from his scholarship and was free to play at another school, if he chose. Wilson then created a stir when he said he was "torn up" and heartbroken about not being able to return to the Pack, that he would not have requested a release had he been given the opportunity to compete for the starting job.
Speculation quickly began about where Wilson could land and play football: South Carolina, Auburn, UCLA, Alabama ... a number of schools have been mentioned.
Gustafson said he had read the stories and the comments made by Wilson. Asked if he expected Wilson to play for the Tourists until the season ends Sept. 5, he said, "Absolutely."
Gustafson did not go into the specifics of Wilson's contract with the Rockies, 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 (to play football)? It might be. But there has been no indication to us about any football activity, whatsoever. His total focus is on baseball."
Gustafson said Wilson's batting average has improved and his fielding has been solid. He said he did not believe the uncertainty about Wilson's plans had caused a problem with 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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