Kevin Haskin in the Topeka Capital-Journal has a great story about Jack Hartman reassigning Ro from forward to guard. As usual, Jack was right, and it worked out great, leading to a Sports Illustrated cover and an invitation to the Olympics.
Here's a Sports Extra by Kelly Stewart, with Ro's comments on playing for K-State.
Rosalyn Durant, the senior vice president of ESPN, visited with our athletes, and delivered the Huck Boyd Lecture on Nov. 5. She had valuable advice for them, as reported in this Sports Extra.
To be exact, the corner is the next phase of Bill Snyder Family Stadium renovation... the northeast area. Dr. Tracz and student government have been in on the planning all the way, and are on board. Still, it concerns me that the band members are headed to corner seats, instead of more like 40 yard line seats. I think they should have the best seats in the house. The stated goal is for the band to be more equally audible. They may be pointed toward more people, but they're sure going to be farther away. I just don't know. (link)
Here's a brand new YouTube video... some of it recorded with a drone... of the latest in John Currie's $195,000,000 in new construction since 2012, for Basketball, Football, Tennis and Rowing, including facilities and services that can be used by all of our athletes.
Here's the announcement on kstatesports.com. Carl and Mary have been exceptionally generous to the university. Football fans are awestruck by the new video board at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, which has been named for them. (K-State Sports Extra) (video)
The $68 million Vanier Football Palace is complete, but don't move out the trailers. It's time to raise the last $6 million to do the $15 million corner project and video board. (link)
Jordy's upcoming addition to the Kansas State Football Ring of Honor completes his journey from walk-on to legend. (Collegian feature)
In this video from the Green Bay Packers, Jordy discusses his recent injury with reporters, and what lies ahead. His matter-of-fact, positive approach is inspiring. (video)
That's the title of a very complimentary feature on local hero Jordy Nelson. It covers his annual summer return to Riley to work on the Nelson family farm, even though his multimillion-dollar Packers contract has him set for life. link
I don't know who made the decisions on this group of 10, who will be officially inducted on January 29, 2016, but talk about some slam-dunk choices! Personal heroes of mine include Mitch Holthus, Dawn Cady, Kendra Wecker, Nicole Ohlde, Michael Bishop and Martin Gramatica. (press release)
Men's Basketball signee, 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward Dean Wade of St. John, has made the prestigious Parade All-America team... one of 30 to be named. (link)
Andrew Hamor will replace Chad Weiberg as the top fundraiser, and I think he's a natural choice. He knows K-State Athletics and its supporters. I found him quite approachable and helpful when I've interacted with him. (press release)
It's great news that Kansas State's exceptional director of athletics, John Currie, has agreed to a contract extension and upgrade. John's accomplishments with facilities have been astonishing. He has led with a wonderfully positive attitude, is a tremendous communicator, and from my own experience, remains quite approachable. (announcement)
This is an in-depth, 30-minute interview.
Jevon has decided to transfer, and Marcus and Tre have been dismissed from the team, according to this announcement from Kansas State Athletics. I don't know all the facts, but I do know that our coaching staff have faced tremendous challenges with some of our players this season. Obviously Marcus was never the same after his NBA summer camp. I had told many people last year that he would be the "next big thing" in our MBB program, and was destined to have his jersey retired.
In our last game vs. TCU, Marcus added 0 points in 19 minutes. In the previous game vs. UT, he added a solid 15 points in 36 minutes. You never knew what you were going to get. For the season, Marcus averaged 12.5 points per game in 28 minutes per game, and Tre averaged 3.8 points per game, but we all know this wasn't about stats.
I'm sure this decision was not made without extensive thought and consultation. I wish all three of these gents the best, and I am 100% behind Coach Weber.
Dean, a 6-9", 225-pound forward, is the state's Gatorade Player of the Year. He signed with Kansas State on November 12. Many Cat fans made a special trip to the Kansas 2A championship game to watch Mr. Wade help St. John to the title. Read all the details from Sports Information.
As we all know, K-State students stormed the court at the Octagon o' Doom after the glorious victory over the Squawks on Feb. 23. Today, two days later, Big 12 Commissioner Bowlsby issued a reprimand to the university for allowing it to happen. Because the game was an ESPN Big Monday broadcast, the network ran a clip of the Catstorm time after time the next day.
I don't approve of the students storming the court. It's usually only done after an emotional victory, which of course is the most dangerous time for it. Eventually a serious injury or fight will result, and the fact that only a minimal effort was made to prevent this happening will be a big liability. Naturally, KU will play up even the slightest negative aspect of it, as Roy Williams did some years back when a K-State fan lobbed a penny at him when he was in the tunnel. Also, I don't approve of organized use of profanity in our games. It's not necessary, and not appropriate, because there will always be someone in the crowd who is offended by it.
We all need to consider that if the university doesn't fix the issues, the Big 12 might. Didn't the conference force us to move the team benches to the opposite side of the court - away from the students - some years back?
What do we do? I don't think simply reasoning with the students will work. Sure, it will persuade a percentage of them, but not all. I think the only response that holds any promise is to announce that if there are any unacceptable behaviors in the future, the students will lose either Section 19 or 20 for the next season. After a season of watching games from Section 24 or 25, there should be enough peer pressure to prevent future indiscretions.
Do we can Darude's "Sandstorm?" No! If the students are determined to engage in profane chants, they could decide to do so when the ball is live, and NCAA rules prohibit PA or pep band music (that would help mask the language) during live ball action.
Finally, John Currie did a masterful job of addressing the situation in his phone interview with ESPN's Dan Patrick on Feb. 25. John gave a humble and realistic response to the issues, while interjecting talking points heralding K-State's many positive accomplishments. He also posted an appropriate apology to the Squawks. John truly is the best in business.
(edit, Feb. 28): After a stern scripted warning by PA announcer Dave Lewis with two or three minutes to play vs. #12 Iowa State, five days after the Catstorm, no students stormed the court following the 70-69 win. Maybe the thought of the promised trip to jail was enough... this time. No one can predict the future, but a couple of dozen hired bouncers, plus all the ushers and custodial workers on the Bramlage Coliseum staff, helped make the point that the university meant business. I think the players returning to their old practice of circling the court for high fives was also a good move.
(edit, Mar. 1): Here's a viewpoint in USA Today, posted on March 1, in which the author understands that students want to celebrate a big win, but warns against the potential risks.
K-State Sports Information tweeted the good news today, which of course is no surprise. Here's K-State's full coverage of Tyler's honors. The question isn't if Tyler will be in the Ring of Honor, but when it will be announced!
Here's the good news from K-State Sports Information.
It's like being there! (link)
There's lots here: (link)
Kelly McHugh has turned in yet another fine Sports Extra about Coach Keady's visit with Bruce Weber and Ernie Barrett.
I'm not much of a fan of the NCAA these days, and this feature by Sharon Terlep of the Wall Street Journal takes a look at the causes of its ineffectiveness.
Here's a real nice feature on K-State's own Robert Lipson. I have the highest respect for his commitment.
We ought to honor DeLoss. He did fine work here, and while at Texas, saved the Big 12 Conference. (story)
Here's the Master Plan.
Dustin Yoder, K-State Men's Basketball Video Coordinator, has overcome all kinds of obstacles in his quest to become a D-1 basketball coach. Sean Frye of the Bleacher Report has his impressive story.
Sports Illustrated doesn't understand that Claire's a Classy Cat, but they like her, regardless. They have over 60 photos of her on Classy Cat duty. She's about to begin her fourth year on the team.
The Bleacher Report has an awesome feature on Thomas Gipson, and the injuries he's faced.
We look back at Aaron and Kevin, then see some of Tyler's career accomplishments. Don't miss this YouTube video.
Mark Janssen reminds us of the contributions of the legendary coach and athletic director in this Sports Extra.
Kellis Robinett has posted a very enjoyable feature on Bruce Weber's two seasons at K-State.
Dennis Dodd of CBS has filed a highly-complimentary feature on football and basketball in our awesome conference.
The Kansas City Star has a nice feature on Tex, in honor of his birthday on Feb. 25.
Kelly McHugh posted a top-notch Sports Extra, featuring K-State's own Wyatt Thompson.
Kelly McHugh has another fine Sports Extra, featuring Coach Weber.
I never thought I'd link to anything written by Kevin Kietzman, but here you go. He agrees with me that Coach has answered every possible question in his second season with the Cats. (link)
The naming of Marcus Foster as National Player o' the Week doesn't count last night's 20-point performance vs. the Squawks. (link)
The Kansas State Collegian has the latest feature on Coach Weber's basketball background.
Here's a Sports Extra featuring Thomas Gipson.
Kellis Robinett has posted a fine feature on Thomas Gipson in The Wichita Eagle.
Sean Keeler of Fox Sports Kansas City has posted a very interesting feature on Coach Lowery.
This is a must-read feature on Marcus by C. J. Moore of the Bleacher Report.
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star posted an opinion piece today that explains why Coach Weber was such a good hire.
Wyatt has been named the Kansas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. (We knew he was the best already!) Here's the announcement from K-State Athletics.
The signing of John Currie through the next six years is the best news since the return of Bill Snyder. I don't think anyone on earth could have done a better job as our director of athletics. Read the announcement.
A KU alumna wrote this opinion piece in The Washington Post, calling Charlie Weis a "boorish blowhard." Her main complaint is Charlie throwing his players under the bus.
Our All-American and Heisman finalist has collected a very fine honor. Collin did everything the right way. K-Staters couldn't have asked for a finer representative. (announcement)
Everyone should read this Sports Extra from Mark Janssen. Here's a bulletin: Coach hasn't picked the quarterback yet.
Athletics has released The Year of the Wildcat, a nice-looking compilation of stats and photos reviewing individual and team success throughout 2012-13. What a year it was!
Kellis Robinett has a nice feature in the Kansas City Star on John Currie and K-State's successes in 2012-13. We're extremely fortunate to have John here. His accomplishments as athletics director are unequaled.
Larry Weigel has written an awesome feature in the Manhattan Mercury, revealing how Mike Evans learned from Dean Smith that the legendary coach had recommended him to our legendary coach, Jack Hartman. I'll never forget Mike Evans, and neither will anyone else who was around K-State during the Mike and Chuckie era. 33 years later, I remember Mike making 30 points in his first game as a freshman Cat.
Kansas State Baseball posted yet another come-from-behind victory, this time 6-2 over Oregon State in the 10th inning. As many times as I've looked at Rolando's Sports Illustrated cover, I didn't think of it as Baseball prepared to play the #3-ranked team. Fans there sure haven't forgotten The Shot, as we see in this story in The Oregonian from June 6.
Mark Janssen, as you know he would, has written a wonderful eulogy for Fred White. Be sure to have a look. I sat near him at K-State football, and a couple of years ago approached him to give my personal thanks for all that he did for K-State. After his years of broadcasting K-State games for WIBW radio, he did a great job in his role as an objective play-by-play man for TV coverage.
Fred was enough of a friend of K-State that he was asked to conduct the memorial service for Jack Hartman, in Ahearn Field House in 1998. Here's a tribute from the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals have announced the retirement of Fred from their organization, citing recent health issues. First, I wish Fred the best in his recovery. I have so many memories of him hosting Jack Hartman and Vince Gibson TV shows, covering K-State games on 580 WIBW, and in more recent years, as a TV play-by-play man for men's basketball. He's the Royals' release. Here's Fred's coverage from the last basketball game in Ahearn.
"Kansas State's really good. I mean, really really good. I love what they're made up of. I love their make-up. I love what the way they do a lot of things. They play extremely well together as a team. They understand their roles. They compete. I mean, they go get balls, they get their hands on balls, they come up with it. And Rodney McGruder's a tough, tough, hard-nosed basketball player that I've really watched develop over his time, and he's really active... does a lot of things. But... they're really good. They're really good, and I thought we did some things early, but we helped 'em too much... just turnovers that you can't have, you can't... a team that is not gonna beat themselves. You can't fuel that fire, and we fueled that fire."
An Associated Press feature looks at the interest in our athletic programs President Schulz is encountering across the nation. Don't miss it!
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star posted this interesting feature on Coach Weber.
An Associated Press feature looks at the interest in our athletic programs President Schulz is encountering across the nation. Don't miss it!
The Big 12 Conference has announced good news for Cat fans. Rodney McGruder is First Team All-Big 12. Angel Rodriguez is Second Team All-Big 12. Bruce Weber is Big 12 Coach of the Year, with 25 wins (and counting). Here's the news from Sports Information. Here are Twitter pictures of the team and staff and Coach of the Year Bruce Weber with the Big 12 championship trophy.
Here's the Big 12 champions video released by Athletics on March 10. The music choice is not good, but you'll want to see it, regardless.
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reviews K-State's recent achievements, and upsets the birds a bit.
This is a feature by Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star. It shows how much the two coaches are in sync.
In this story, Curtis Kitchen is trying to figure out what many are puzzled by: why K-State students aren't coming to men's basketball games. I'm proud that K-State has for decades been so good to students in terms of prime seating. I know agreements are in place. But... maybe it's time to re-evaluate. We all know students are beating the system to ensure seats for the KU game. If that's all the majority of them care about, I'm at a point where I think Athletics should set some expectations on attendance. Any performance required should span more than just a few games, or the students will rally temporarily. By the way, during the West Virginia game, the Rec Complex was stuffed with students.
"Angel Rodriguez is phenomenal. That is an All-American out there. He is as good as you will find in college basketball. He controlled the tempo, and with 22 points, 10 assists and two turnovers. That is amazing."
Edit Feb. 18, 2013: Angel was named Big 12 Player of the Week today.
Jason King of ESPN filed this story, which might help explain the 20-point win over a strong Baylor team.
Here's a nice feature on Coach Tex Winter from the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
John said there were 175 workers on site at the time the tour was recorded. (video)
Veteran Topeka Capital-Journal writer Kevin Haskin has posted Surging Cats can extend KU's misery. Don't miss it.
Kansas State announced today that President Kirk Schulz has been asked to serve on the NCAA Executive Committee. I'm sure Dr. Schulz will ask the right questions, and represent our institution and the Big 12 Conference tremendously. Here's the announcement from the Big 12 office.
ESPN's Jason King has a nice evaluation of Bruce Weber's first season.
Rodney's Big 12 Player of the Week for the 4th time in 7 weeks. Here's the announcement.
The Heisman Trophy voters awarded the 2013 Heisman to a scofflaw freshman, Johnny Manziel. The first thing you know, he's photographed in a casino, flashing a wad of currency. (Where did that come from?) Now, as openly admitted by Texas A&M, the director of athletics has felt to need to call in Johnny's mommy and daddy to help teach him how to behave.
Is there one chance in a billion that this would have happened if the trophy had gone to K-State's gentleman quarterback, Collin Klein?
The men's game vs. Texas on Jan. 30 in Bramlage Coliseum has been changed from an 8:00 to 7:00 P tip.
Apparently a reported salary of $210,000, plus the opportunity to coach with the legendary Bill Snyder, is not enough for Joe Bob, so he's taking Coach Snyder's playbook and strategies to Oklahoma State. I could live with a transfer if he weren't moving to a school we play every year. There are other ways to achieve professional advancement than working at defeating your alma mater. I am not impressed.
These are the two young Cat fans who were seriously injured while in a pedicab in Arizona. As I understand it, they are still hospitalized in Arizona. A fundraising site has been established to assist family with the costs of supporting them as they recover. Here's a related story from WIBW-TV. Don't miss this Jan. 17 update on Michael Tysver from KWCH in Wichita.
The game will be played in Florida on January 19. Here's a full announcement from Sports Information.
I think we saw this coming down Kimball Avenue. The Big 12 Conference announced today that K-State's own Rodney McGruder is the Big 12 Player o' the Week. This is the third time in five weeks that Rodney has been honored, with previous selections on Dec. 10 and 24. Here's the corresponding announcement from K-State. This is a nice addition to being ESPN's National Player of the Week.
This was an important win, for confidence, postseason play and fan support. The Cats have struggled to make shots in some games. Seeing Rodney McGruder make 26 points in one half will be remembered. McGruder's drawn lots of attention from the press. ESPN.com's Player of the Week, K-State's McGruder finds his stroke, Rodney McGruder leads K-State, McGruder's big half propels K-State, McGruder mistakenly leaves arena, CBS Sports: Cats at #12
Nino Williams played a huge part in this victory. He hit 7 of 11 (64%) from the field, and 3 of 3 on free throws. He had five rebounds and 17 points. Without his contributions, we would not have won.
Thanks to K-State Athletics for the awesome 24" x 36" poster, and the best fan experience in the Big 12.
Click for the full-size picture. (3.4 MB)
Here's the link for more from the magazine. They're going to sell a few hundred thousand of these in the state of Kansas.
I don't pretend to cover every single game here, and I'm up to my ears with Volleyball right now, but I want to link to some of the OU game write-ups or features that I think are keepers.
In a release from Sports Information, we read,
"Thanks to grass-roots support of Ahearn Fund members world-wide, a record $25.8 million was contributed to K-State Athletics in 2011-12, reflecting a jump of 45 percent from the previous year's total of $17.8 million, while the number of K-Staters participating grew by 12 percent to an all-time high of 7,866 members. In just three years, outright contributions to the department have now doubled compared to fiscal year 2009's $12.7 million mark."This good news represents unparalleled leadership by John Currie, and tremendous work by his development staff. The generosity of K-State fans nationwide is the other part of the equation. Athletics at K-State is headed toward a whole new level. We all should show our gratitude for their accomplishments.
A YouTube account holder, musergocats, has recently uploaded a tremendous highlights video from 1991 - 2011. Don't miss it!
Here's something you just can't miss. This is 3½ minutes of video, set to Bruce Springsteen's 1992 "Better Days," that reminds us what a tremendous conference we're part of. Wasn't it just a year ago at this time that we justifiably wondered if K-State and the Big 12 had a future? Thankfully, leaders like John Currie and Kirk Schulz worked tirelessly to stabilize the conference.
There's some mischief in this video. Thanks to some fun editing, at 2:20, when Bruce sings,
But it's a sad man my friend who's livin' in his own skin...we see clips of Texas A&M and Missouri players moping after losses. Soon after that, clips of Texas Christian and West Virginia crowds are shown.
We have some big-time rivalries, but sometimes it's nice to remember that we're part of something great.
The Kansas City Star, if you can imagine it, has an interesting story about K-State's recent dominance over KU in athletics. The story includes a game-by-game chart. As of today, the current breakdown is K-State: 20, KU: 5.
John Currie seems very upbeat about the hiring of Mr. Bowlsby, a 60-year-old Iowa native who has been the AD at Stanford for a few years. Here's the announcement from the Big 12.
businessinsider.com has a fun chart that shows Kansas State #5 on the list of most profitable athletic departments last year. John Currie explained to WHB the other day that this was due in part to the $18,000,000 basketball facility and the upcoming $75,000,000 football facility, but still... we're a far cry from where we were not that many years ago.
Hmm. It seems Jason takes the same dim view of the NCAA that I have. He's filed a story for FOX Sports, Samuels a victim of NCAA sham. I don't agree with every point he's made, but as usual, a Whitlock column has some interesting points.
I have long held that no institution in an NCAA division is in full compliance, simply because there are so many rules (many outside the influence of an institution) that no school could possibly be in full compliance. The latest NCAA Division I Manual is 439 pages long!
With that said, I do believe that universities should comply with the rules, and should work to get them changed if they don't agree with them.
This is not really about Jamar's situation, but rather about the inequity of the billions of dollars taken in by the NCAA vs. the limits placed on rewarding student athletes for their efforts. I don't believe in doing away with the idea of keeping amateur athletics in college, but I have long believed that athletes should be able to receive a reasonable amount of money for incidental and unexpected expenses.
The NCAA doesn't allow scholarship athletes to have a job during the school year, and they hold a magnifying glass to what they're earning during the summer. Realistically, a Big 12 student athlete doesn't have time for a job during the school year, anyway. Our conference is so competitive that any school that wants to succeed has to have their athletes in training and unofficial practices all year. For example, our #22-ranked volleyball team members volunteered to spend the summer of 2011 in Manhattan, in order to get better. (Thanks, Cats!)
This entry carries the title of this article by Dave Zirin in The Nation on March 19. Zirin paints an interesting picture of the $10,800,000,000 to be taken in by the NCAA this March Madness, vs. what goes to athletes.
Barry Tramel of The Oklahoman has an interesting column on the new deal that will pay each Big 12 school about $20,000,000 per year. Combined with income from FOX, the Big 12 will bring in about $2,500,000,000 over the next 13 years. That sounds like a tidy sum to me.
Or should I say one not won? Should we as Cats be taking such pleasure in another school's Mizzery? That's what you get for almost destroying the Big 12 Conference, Missouri. I couldn't be happier.
We lost a beloved coach and colorful character this week, as Vince Gibson lost his battle with ALS. Kevin Haskin of the Topeka Capital-Journal remembers Vince. I never met Vince, but my friends and I never missed one of his pep rallies, held in Aggieville before each home football game. Because of his leadership we have our football stadium, and unforgettable (and improbable) victories over Oklahoma and Nebraska.
Kotz points out what I've seen for years. There are so many people with their hands in the cookie jar that only the government or the NCAA will ever straighten out this mess. Lots of schools are suffering a net loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the highly-debatable prestige of playing in a bowl game, many of which the average American couldn't name to save their lives.
How are universities being lured into this?
This article doesn't address the unfair good-old-boy selection process for the most prestigious bowls; e.g., the Sugar Bowl's snubbing of Kansas State this fall. I don't advocate a playoff system, but I do believe the NCAA could rent stadiums in nice locations and have its own bowl system, guiding a much greater percentage of the bowl jackpots to the universities who play in them.
Mark Janssen has a must-read interview with Jacob Pullen in today's Kansas State Sports Blog.
Since I live about 150 feet from the groundbreaking site, I moseyed over there to take pictures. The indoor activities were "invitation only," but the dignitaries came outside for five minutes to dig some dirt that had already been plowed. I made a modest little photo gallery.
J. Brady McCollough has a tremendous story in the Kansas City Star related to Tex Winter's induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame today, and his place in K-State history. Today, Sam Mellinger has How Frank Martin won over Kansas State. (Thanks a lot, Brady and Sam, for blabbing all our trade secrets! He he.
That's right. After four games, KU football has improved in the Big 12 from 159-24 to 187-40. We're proud of you, Squawks!
Here's what one of their fans wrote: "KU has officially become the perennial cellar dweller of the Big 12 AGAIN. Our program is now the worst college football program in the Big 12 by a LARGE margin. Heck, we may currently own one of the worst football programs in all of Division 1. Our homecoming game today was effectively a funeral march for the football program. If we keep Gill as our head coach, we might as well bulldoze down Memorial Stadium and erect a headstone for the program tomorrow."
K-State Sports has a new Web site to introduce plans for the project, and request donations. It appears that $12,000,000 of the needed $20,000,000 has been pledged, with $15,000,000 needed to proceed. Here's a story on the facility from the Kansas City Star.
Mark Fagan in the Lawrence Journal-World reports that KU currently has $93.67 million in athletics department debt. It sounds as if they sure could have used that $1,000,000 that was embezzled. Silly birds!
If anyone still wants to think about the $3,200,000 secret Ron Prince buyout, my posts on that topic are archived here.
"People talk about pressure of beating KU. That's nothing compared to knowing you have to cook a $17,000 meal," Frank Martin observed at the annual Powercat Auction tonight. The auction was such a hit that Frank offered to auction a second and third home-cooked Cuban meal to two other $17,000 bidders.
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports writes this time about our coach. Here's his column. You don't want to miss it, even though he's reviewing for America what we already know.
Jacob Pullen makes 34 points to lead the Cats to victory in Oklahoma City over a very fine Brigham Young team. The mythical poultry will have about eight months to peck on today's events.
Good stuff to read keeps rolling in, so here we go:
K-State Sports Information has set up 2010 NCAA Tournament Central. It's billed as everything you need to know.
As usual, the NCAA has produced a lame Web site to cover the men's tournament. While everyone and his brother has a bracket out, the NCAA can't manage to be first to release it. For example... less than an hour after the selection show ended, look at all these other sites that have detailed tournament information.
Enough whining. Let's go win some games. The all-time record of 25 wins is now history.
Athletics director John Currie announced today that Coach Martin has been signed through 2014-15. The salary will progressively increase: $1.2 million in the 2010-11 contract year, $1.3 million in 2011-12, $1.4 million in 2012-13, $1.5 million in 2013-14 and $1.6 million in 2014-15. This is the great news that K-Staters have been waiting for. I personally wasn't nervous, because I understood Coach's commitment to K-State, and felt it was just a matter of time until this was done. Click here to download a 6 MB .mp3 of the contract press conference. Click here to download a PDF of Coach's new contract from K-State Sports Information.
One other thing (swiping a paragraph from Sports Information): Frank Martin was named today the Big 12 Coach of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league's coaches. Martin has K-State off to its best start since the 1958-59 season, while the current 24 victories and 11 conference wins are the most for the Wildcats in the Big 12 era and most since the 1987-88 squad won a school-record 25 games. The team earned its first Top 5 ranking in nearly 50 years last Monday when it rose to No. 5 in each poll. It marked the fifth straight Top 10 ranking this season, including the fourth in both major polls. He has guided the school to four wins over Top 25 teams, which is the most-ever by K-State in a regular season, including just its third-ever over a No. 1 team and first since 1994 with its 71-62 victory over Texas on Jan. 18.
Our pal Jason Whitlock has a nice commentary on the Cats' victory over Missouri today. Jason says, "K-State fans, take a bow. You kept the Wildcats' title hopes alive for at least four more days, and you pretty much ensured that Martin will be conference coach of the year and the favorite for national coach of the year."
On March 7, 1962, K-State was ranked #3 in the AP poll. Now, almost 48 years later, we've come in at #6 in the poll released today. Our coaches and players have worked very hard for this, and for the most part, the fans have done a great job this season. The next month is going to be an amazing time.
The Big 12 Conference has named senior guard Denis Clemente the Player of the Week. The conference says, "Clemente averaged 26.5 points and 4.0 assists as Kansas State recorded road victories at Nebraska (76-57) and Iowa State (79-75). The senior guard started play with a 23-point effort versus the Huskers, connecting on 7-of-14 shots from the floor. He then followed with his third career 30-point performance by scoring 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting against the Cyclones. For the week, he hit 50 percent (16-of-32) of his shots from the floor, including 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from 3-point range. He also totaled seven rebounds and averaged 36.0 minutes. Clemente is tied for fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made (51) this season." Here's the official announcement.
GoPowercat.com has a great story on College Game Day at our house. This story is free content.
K-State MBB had a fine 88-65 nationally televised win over Texas A&M tonight. Denis Clemente was on fire, ending with 24 points, and Jamar Samuels added 19. Here are some fun quotes from an Aggies message board. They didn't like the referees much, either!
I'm watching the Mike Leach firing with great interest, and also wondering if we (the public) will ever be confident that we know the full and true facts.
I believe that many problems facing our nation come from our historical quest for fairness. It's a noble-sounding concept, but it also carries a high price. Fairness in our justice system has cost people's lives, as criminals have been released, only to steal or kill again. Fair international trade has seen other countries take ridiculous advantage of us. However well-intended our national values are, we have to be alert to finding the breaking point between fairness and outright stupidity.
The customer service model has crept into our education system, from kindergarten through graduate school. Educators wrestle every day with "student development" vs. "customer service." Along with that is the increased willingness of students and parents to file a lawsuit whenever they don't get exactly what they want.
Did Mike Leach go too far by isolating a player who, by most reports, was not respected or liked by his teammates? He could have found a more appropriate response than solitary confinement. Leach has a law degree. He ought to have sense enough to know that while most of his motivation for isolating the player may have been lazy performance in practice, the player and family would link the isolation to the concussion, thereby making Leach look like an insensitive monster.
On the other hand, I believe that we've got to keep parents and administrators out of head coaching decisions as much as possible. What's happening at the college level began with little league and soccer. We've seen it here, too, for example when Jackie Stanley's dad pulled her from K-State for insufficient playing time (behind Shalee Lehning, I might add) as a first-semester freshman.
We should let coaches do their job. What they're asking their athletes to do is not far removed from soldiers going into war. It's hard, it's often painful and it calls for giving every bit of effort humanly possible. Some people aren't up to that, and different people respond in different ways. Coaches know their players, their abilities and their attitudes. We have to trust our coaches' judgment, because they have behind-the-scenes information we don't have.
In conclusion, here's what I think. For one thing, insufficient time was allowed in the Mike Leach investigation to get the full picture of information needed for a sound decision. Is it OK to punish players? I think so, and I've seen it personally on our own campus, as players have gotten some special assignments involving bleachers. I just think coaches need to take that extra moment to consider whether the punishment is teaching something, if it leaves the athlete with dignity intact, if the media and the public would consider it reasonable under the circumstances, etc. Head coaches at big-time universities are often making huge salaries, and they just need to remember that their high pay doesn't confer immunity from public opinion. A helpful guideline would be, what would Bill Snyder do?
The Cats' MBB program is #1 in the RealTime RPI today!
Andy Katz of ESPN has named the Cats as the ESPN Team of the Week!
The Cats are playing UNLV this week, and they're coached by two of my all-time favorite MBB players, Lon Kruger and Steve Henson. Here's a fine article in the Las Vegas Sun on the connections Lon's staff have with K-State. I really appreciated Lon's and Greg's contributions to the Men's Basketball History DVD that came out last year. By the way, Coach Neil Crane, mentioned in the article, gave me two semesters of A in physical education at Highland Community College, which anyone who knows me would find hard to believe.
Here's a column from the Kansas City Star which reports a study done in 2004-05 on the tendencies of NCAA referees in calling fouls. The professors involved concluded that referees are very aware of the balance of fouls on the scoreboard, and big picture, they try to even them out.
This series was started in 2007 to up the level of nonconference play. Here's a Wikipedia link. As of today, it's Big 12 - 8, Pac 10 - 2.
Here's the link to the Wall Street Journal article about Robert as a K-State football fan.
John Hoover of the Tulsa World has a nice story on the impact of Coach Snyder on his former assistants. Here's the link.
I took four hours over the holiday weekend to watch all of this documentary. It has segments on teams, coaches, facilities and memorable moments. It has commentary from a number of former players and coaches. When they refer to a great game or moment, the DVD will then go to footage of the game.
Some of the former players with commentary are Mr. K-State, Ernie Barrett, Jack Parr, Bob Boozer, Rick Harman, Larry Weigel, Lew Hitch, Wally Frank, Howard Shannon, Steve Douglas, Dick Knostman, Roy DeWitz, Bill Guthridge, Don Matuszak, Lloyd Krone, Bob Chipman, Carl Gerlach, Scott Langton, Steve Henson, Chuckie Williams and Lon Kruger.
Former coaches Lon Kruger and Greg Grensing were interviewed at length at UNLV, and the legendary Tex Winter had all kinds of stories from his 15 years at K-State. Current coach Brad Underwood has great stories about the Hartman era.
Journalists and broadcasters we hear from include Fred White, Steve Physioc, Wyatt Thompson, Ben Boyle, Steven Farney, Kevin Haskin, Greg Sharpe, Tim Fitzgerald, John Dodderidge, David Smale and Mark Janssen.
This would be great for serious newer fans to see the level of talent and commitment necessary to have teams that played in the Final Four, and routinely went to the NCAA tournament. Here's the direct link.
Sometimes with productions like this, you look at it once, and that's it. I see myself going back to it often. As I write this, I'm already on my second pass through.
Since we learned that Ron Prince would be moving on, I've been telling people that I wouldn't be surprised if our next head coach is Bill Snyder, but I wasn't positive he would accept.
I've also said all along that if I'm correct and Bill Snyder would replace Ron Prince, we absolutely wouldn't know it until the season is over. After spending an hour a week with Coach Snyder at his radio shows for 17 years, I know him well enough to state that he would consider it rude to be announced as coach while Ron Prince was still officially our coach. He would also worry that the announcement would be a distraction to the team, and should not occur prior to the last game. Along with his brilliance as a coach, Bill Snyder is a gentleman. He would want Ron Prince to have full authority and respect while still employed.
The unattributed reports from anonymous message board posters that Gary Patterson's wife has been in Manhattan finalizing the purchase of a house carry absolutely no weight with me. I haven't seen a single conclusive piece of evidence that Coach Patterson wants to come here, and his alleged denials to TCU team members, if true, fit a consistent pattern of response from him. I think that hopeful fans are putting entirely too much on the fact that he is an alumnus. He was here about 25 years ago, and to my knowledge has not kept close ties. He has not even taken the opportunity, over the past three weeks, to wish us well in our search.
What about the search committee that Bill Snyder was supposedly a member of? Well, if he were seen meeting with Jon Wefald and Bob Krause, people would just assume it was a committee meeting. Or not.
Mark Janssen of the Manhattan Mercury, who I consider the ultimate source on K-State football, seems to agree with me. Mark wrote today that, "The silence and privacy of the last two-plus weeks looks and feels very Snyder-like." That much is certain.
I think I'm right, and I definitely hope I'm right.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Cats in the latest version of Jack Hartman's lavender-over-purple road uniforms. If you'd like to see what these uniforms mean in terms of our program's history, look here. If you're not aware of the Hartman era and K-State's winningest coach, you may enjoy reading up on it a little bit.
The Pride of Wildcat Land rolled out of Manhattan at the crack of dawn to make it to the KU football game on Nov. 1. They performed extremely elaborate marching maneuvers to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and by all reports blew the roof off the dump. A band member told me yesterday that they may perform it again this Saturday to show the Nebraska band a few things. I promise you you'll be filled with pride if you take 7:16 to watch this YouTube video of the performance. Notice the cheering from the Hawk fans at the end of the performance. Here's another YouTube video of their performance of it for the Central States Marching Festival on October 19 in Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
November 4, 2008
Former quarterback Zac Burton has an opinion piece in the Manhattan Mercury on our coaching situation. It's time for a resolution. As it stands now, the uncertainty about the state of K-State fooball is a soap opera for boys. Fans want answers. I don't predict any action until the end of the month.
I'm on this again because someone's not listening to me. I don't know anything about football, but after 38 years I know a lot about K-State athletics. This is not about game strategy, or whether there should be personnel changes after giving up 626 yards. This is about fans.
We fans must provide absolute support to our coaches and players at games. Fan support is going down fast. This is detrimental to the motivation of our players, and the income Athletics needs to compete in the Big 12. It's sure to damage recruiting. I saw the same thing happen in men's basketball during the Asbury and Wooldridge eras. How can you recruit top players with the kind of fan support shown on regional ABC coverage today? If you don't like what's going on, write a letter with your ideas to Dr. Wefald or Bob Krause, but don't cast your vote by not showing up. Potential players and coaches need to see that even if our winning percentage is down, K-State is a great place to be, and a great place to play.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story on the expenditures on athletic recruiting. The article includes a chart which lists K-State as #5 in the nation in spending for 2006 - 07. I wonder whether that was before the ban on private aircraft that KU got put into place. K-State was the biggest spender in the Big 12, although not far above NU and UT.
Look at this article in the American Statesman on the $107,600,000 budget of University of Texas athletics.
Once again, controversy has developed over the Cat Band's playing Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll Pt. 2, or as the band sometimes calls it, Time Lords. I've never noticed it, but apparently this past year the students have substituted the item that we're going to beat out of our opponent. It's not a good choice for our younger and more conservative fans, but that's not why I called you here.
Whether at football, basketball or volleyball, every time the band plays that tune, the students stick their arms up and wave them back and forth. Stop it! Why don't our students understand that they're waving the wheat, which is a decades-old KU tradition? It makes me sick every time I see it. The bands have to stop playing that song if our students don't realize they're participating in a highly disgusting KU tradition.