SLATE: Kansas State scores high on APR

Track athletes begin competition at West Prelims

As reported in yesterday’s Slate, and by news outlets across the state, there was a fire at Hale Library on Tuesday afternoon. Although the flames were quickly contained, university administration is still trying to determine the extent of the damage. The library remains closed and internet connectivity is not back to 100%.

In other words, Kansas State needed some good news this week, and it got it in the form of a record-high Academic Progress Rate (APR) score from the NCAA. The Wildcats equaled or exceeded NCAA requirements in all sports for the seventh consecutive year, and led the Big 12 in APR scores for football, women’s tennis, and women’s cross country. In fact, for the most recent academic year tracked, baseball, men’s cross country, football, women’s cross country, women’s tennis, women’s track and field, and volleyball teams all posted perfect 1000 APR scores.

With football, Kansas State’s success in the classroom could well be attributed to Bill Snyder and his commitment to education. Whether it’s imparting his values to football players who later take the 16 Goals into the classroom like former quarterback Joe Hubener did, or giving lectures to students in the College of Education, Snyder has always shown a keen interest in education.

Speaking of Snyder, he puts in an appearance at #20 on Stewart Mandel’s list of the best 25 coaches in football right now, behind such stalwart coaching legends as Paul Chryst (Wisconsin) and Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern). Mandel admits that he’s downgrading Snyder because Kansas State hasn’t made the Top 25 since 2014, but apparently, the fact that Chip Kelly hasn’t coached a down of college football since 2012 isn’t enough to keep the UCLA head coach out of the top ten of this ranking. Go figure.

While football can pat itself on the back for its off-field accomplishment, the track teams still have plenty to compete for on the field. The NCAA Outdoor Track West Preliminaries begin in Sacramento today, with 27 Wildcats scheduled to compete in 32 events. On the women’s side, seven athletes have marks in the top 12 in their respective events, including Ranae McKenzie whose 56.06 time in the 400m hurdles leads the nation. Also competing in the 400m hurdles is Lauren Taubert, who barely missed the heptathlon qualifying mark at the Big 12 Championships, but finished sixth in the 400H and also helped the team in the 4×400 relay.

For the men, nine athletes are in competition, including Jullane Walker (100m, long jump), Brett Neely (shot put, discus), and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar, whose 2.29m mark is tops in the country so far this year.

For the combined events, there is no preliminary qualification. Both Nina Schultz and Ariel Okorie have already punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships for the heptathlon, as has Aaron Booth for the decathlon.

You can follow the teams’ progress via @KStateTFXC.

Finally, to wrap up, we would be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the day’s biggest sports story, i.e. the latest NFL-related kerfuffle. (Yes, I’m talking about politics at Bring on the Cats. Please to clutch all your pearls right now).

In its infinite wisdom, the National Football League has adopted a policy that requires all team and league personnel on the field to stand during the national anthem, but with the caveat that players and personnel are not required to be on the field during the anthem. ‘

There have been plenty of bouquets and brickbats thrown in the NFL’s general direction since the policy was announced yesterday, but this seems like the League’s weak attempt to have its brioche and eat it like a hot dog bun. Basically, having brazenly—and perhaps cynically—wrapped itself up in the flag, the NFL cannot walk away from the rah-rah patriotism of its pregame rituals, so it has made “respecting the flag” mandatory. But it has also given the players (and the owners) an out: teams can avoid the issue altogether by simply staying in the locker room for the duration of the anthem. Either way, the NFL’s goal of ending player protests is achieved.

Whatever side one takes on this issue, this much is clear: surely the NFL has better things to do than enforce patriotism? As always, Spencer Hall says it much better than anyone else.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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Slate: Some heat and some flames

Hale Library, Kansas State UniversityIt’s a dead heat in the QB race; and there was a very live heat at Hale Library on Tuesday.

Football

The spring semester is over, and before the summer practices begin Kellis Robinett at the Wichita Eagle broke down the QB battle between Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton, which Bill Snyder said was “dead even” back at the end of spring practices.

Berry Tramel at the Oklahoman put together a Big 12 football fan travel guide. K-State gets top marks for stadium experience, and Aggieville gets rave reviews. Don’t laugh too hard at the description of that other school though.

Basketball

The Big 12 coaches are forbidden from voting for their own team for preseason awards. That means that every year Bill Self must pick some other team (and laugh) to finish first in the Big 12. For the 2018-19 preseason poll, Self will be voting for Bruce Weber and Kansas State (Robinett, Eagle).

Other

There was a three-alarm fire at Hale Library yesterday, requiring the building to be evacuated and still be closed today. No one was hurt in the incident* that affected the oldest part of the library. While losing library services is important, Hale Library also serves as the hub for K-State’s information technology systems, and the fire has affected K-State’s online systems and potentially some Internet connectivity on campus (Brianna Childers, Capital-Journal).

*Unofficial reports indicate the fire was caused by roofers working on that part of the building.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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KSU tennis nets two awards

The Kansas State’s tennis team’s historic season caught the attention of the International Tennis Association.

Source: The Mercury

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SLATE: Danielle Steinberg Named ITA Central Region Coach of the Year

K-State Tennis Coach Danielle Steinberg and player Maria Linares won regional awards for the Spring season. — K-State Athletics/SIDEARM SportsMarian Linares named Rookie of the Year

Things may have happened elsewhere in the world of sports. But we’re focused only on ourselves.

Women’s Tennis

After a breakout performance on the tennis courts, the Wildcats have collected more accolades. Coach Danielle Steinberg was named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Coach of the Year in the Central Region, while Maria Linares earned Rookie of the Year honors.

K-State reached the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2003, where the squad upset Kentucky in a stunning 4-3 comeback before falling to No. 14 seed Northwestern in the round of 32. K-State’s 15 wins were the second most in a Spring season in school history, and they finished the year ranked 42nd in the nation.

Linares figured prominently in the Kentucky win, clinching the last point in a three-set thriller. The Venezuelan freshman posted a 14-7 record, playing mostly No. 2 singles.

With six of eight players (including 4 freshmen) returning, the future appears bright. Ignore those pesky rumors of Coach Steinberg being courted for the head coaching job at Arizona, which happens to be her alma mater.

Rowing

Corbin McGuire’s K-State Sports Extra column today features team captain Marissa Butrum, who was one of two winners of the College or Education’s Outstanding Future Teacher award at graduation ceremonies. Butrum plans to take her K-State experiences to the classroom as an English teacher, and to the boathouse as a rowing coach.

Golf

K-State has had only two individual winners of league golf titles in its history. The most recent was Jeremy Gandon, who finished in a four-way tie for the title this season. The other is 85-year old Graham Hunt, who won the title in 1951 and had to raise his own funds for the trip to the NCAA championship. The two champions met at Colbert Hills this week to talk about the opportunities they have realized through playing golf. Among Hunt’s memories is meeting Ronald Reagan on the train ride to Columbus, Ohio for the championship appearance. When he encountered Reagan again on a flight several years later, the future president remembered him and asked how he had fared in the tournament. Politicians, man.

Miscellaneous

A K-State student is one of two survivors of a tragic boating accident that claimed three other lives at Lake of the Ozarks this weekend. Ashley Lamb is in critical condition and will need multiple surgeries, according to her sister. The family has established a GoFundMe account to offset the costs of medical care.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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SLATE: Random Monday

“What do you mean my boys aren’t the most overachieving bunch in the conference?”No actual Wildcat news to touch on today, but some items of passing interest await your perusal.

It’s that time of year, friends. With the exception of the upcoming NCAA track championships, there’s very little in the way of scheduled news to report for the next three months. We’re going to be relying on random snippets of stuff, but you’re used to that process by now.

We start today’s rundown with news that is not connected to K-State, but is still important enough to bring to your attention. It’s a sad week in Baton Rouge as legendary Louisiana State running back Billy Cannon passed away on Friday. The death was reported to news outlets by LSU itself but not until yesterday, and per the New York Times obituary by Frank Litsky, LSU did not release a cause of death.

Cannon, twice a unanimous All-American selection, won the 1959 Heisman Trophy while leading LSU to a share of a national championship before becoming one of the stars of the fledgling American Football League. Cannon spent time with Houston and Oakland before finishing his career with a six-game stint in Kansas City, earning two AFL All-Star team nods, one AFL rushing title, and three AFL championships. While doing all that, he earned his dentistry degree and went into practice after he retired.

But Cannon had a dark side. Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, the Hall rescinded his pending induction four days before it was to occur due to his guilty plea as part of a counterfeiting scheme. He spent 30 months in prison for that transgression, but afterward regained his dental practice and — not without struggle — rebuilt his life.

Throughout, however, Cannon had remained a seminal figure in LSU lore. Our hearts go out to Tiger Nation on their loss.

Football

At Rivals, Rob Cassidy is examining the most over- and underachieving programs in college football as measured by their expected success compared to draft picks. You will be unsurprised to discover K-State is among the top five overachievers.

You will be shocked to discover the Wildcats aren’t even in the top two overachievers in the Big 12, however.

On Friday, Cassidy will release a more detailed breakdown of the Big 12.

Meanwhile, James Lumalu at Busted Coverage brings this little gem to our attention: if you’ve ever seen the Purple Haze tailgate bus at a game and thought, “Man, it’d be cool if that was mine,” guess what? It can be. The owner’s trying to unload it on Facebook for eight grand.

Basketball

Otis Kirk at NBC Sports runs down his thoughts on NBC’s way-too-early pre-season top 25, a ranking on which K-State holds down the number nine spot.

Mack McClure at the Mercury reports on the baffling continued absence from the rafters at Bramlage Coliseum of a women’s jersey with the number 10, and its wearer’s absence from K-State’s sports hall of fame. That’s right, Laurie Koehn is, somehow, still waiting despite teammates Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker getting the rafter honor at their final home games.

Source: Bring on the Cats

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SLATE: BatCats end season with loss

The slow days of summer are truly open us. Sigh.

At least it’s over?

Kansas State baseball’s 2018 campaign is now done. A season of few highs and far too many lows that saw the retirement of longtime head coach Brad Hill came to an end with a 7-5 loss to the San Francisco Dons. The Wildcats has already taken the series, so the loss was of little consequence by itself, but as morose punctuation to an already dead season, it was pointed and probably fitting.

The BatCats finished the season with a record of 23-31 (5-19 Big 12) and missed the Big 12 Championship for the second consecutive year.

The program will now begin the process of finding Hill’s replacement. Considering what he’s meant to the program and some of his past success, this will be an uphill climb, especially because, as Hill himself said, “it’s difficult sometimes getting kids to Manhattan, Kansas.”

For athletic director Gene Taylor, the baseball search may also a bit of a dress rehearsal for a much bigger coaching replacement to be made when Bill Snyder—eventually, but inevitably—decides to hang up his clipboard for a second time. As is usual for this time of year, speculation is rife. This time around, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated kicked things off, noting that “[w]hile he should be able to coach as long as he wants, Snyder probably shouldn’t be able to unilaterally decide on his successor.”

For now, Snyder seems content to coach at least another season. Given the way the Kansas State finished the season, the returning talent on the field in Manhattan, and the injection of some much needed younger talent to the sidelines, it’s easy to see upside to his decision for 2018. But what happens after that? Does recruiting suffer as Snyder gets older? Is his alleged insistence on handpicking his successor a bad look for the program? Who knows? Only one things is for certain: talking about all this will make the dog days of summer go by that much faster!

With that in mind, I’ll leave you with this photograph of the 1983 Iowa Hawkeyes coaching staff. The assembly of coaching talent on display here is absolutely ridiculous, and also a stark reminder that even this wasn’t enough to build a true dynasty at just one school.

Happy Sunday!

Source: Bring on the Cats

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