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Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 4

Good morning Wildcats!

November is a wild month for an intercollegiate athletics department - and our fans! With so many of our teams in the midst or beginning of their competitive seasons, it seems there is something going on just about every day. Our golf teams were in action the first half of the week. Men's basketball beat Newman before a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum Tuesday (3,500 students in attendance - wow!), volleyball beat Texas Tech 3-1 last night in Ahearn and women's basketball plays an exhibition game at 7 p.m., tonight in Bramlage.

Tomorrow, our nationally recognized equestrian program will take on Oklahoma State at Timber Creek Stables (click here for map and schedule of competition). Congratulations are also in order for our women's cross country team, which finished 6th in last weekend's Big 12 Conference meet and qualified for the November 13 NCAA Midwest Championships in Peoria, Ill. Sydney Messick led the Cats with a 5K time of 20:49:85 - thus earning her All-Big 12 honors.

This morning I am attending the KSU Foundation executive committee meeting while our staff is hard at work getting ready for this weekend's activities. Here's an update on a few other items of note.

Make it Four!
This past week, the NCAA released its latest graduation rate data and, once again, K-State can claim No. 1 status in the Big 12 in all-sports graduation rate - that's four years in a row! Our Graduation Success Rate was the best in the league while we tied for first with our federal four-year average rate. Also, our football, baseball, men's golf, women's golf and men's track and field teams had the highest rates for their respective sports! What a tremendous accomplishment for our student-athletes, coaches, academic support staff and our University faculty. Our student-athletes are determined to succeed academically, and it is rewarding to see them compete at such a high level not only in front of our fans but also academically in the classroom and in their spare time.

Berney Family Gift Announcement
During the first quarter break of the Oklahoma State game last Saturday, our capacity crowd gave a standing ovation for Rand and Patti Berney and their family as they presented President Schulz with a $5 million contribution for two Kansas State facility projects. Half ($2.5 million) of the Bartlesville, OK, couple's pledge will help build the new Basketball Training Facility while the balance will help launch the campaign for the proposed K-State Welcome Center in the east stands of Memorial Stadium. (Web story link). We appreciate Rand and Patti's wonderful investment in K-State's leadership position in collegiate athletics and higher education.

November Bowl Preparations
November is also an important month for planning and operations within the department. Earlier this week we sent contingent bowl applications by email to our fans and donors. Coach Snyder's charges are currently 5-3 on the season with four games remaining, one win away from bowl eligibility.

As Phil was cutting my hair yesterday in Aggieville, he and Jed mentioned that they were looking forward to finding out the Wildcats' bowl destination so they could order their tickets... this, of course, gave me the opportunity to explain why our priority order deadline is NOVEMBER 30, before our destination would be officially announced.

Based upon current records and the across-the-board strength of our conference, as many as 10 Big 12 teams could reach bowl eligibility and as many as five could have identical records. There are eight automatic slots for Big 12 teams and while the conference will certainly work hard to find a post-season home for all Big 12 qualifiers, there are no guarantees. Thus, K-State fans can help by pre-ordering tickets for the bowls they know they would attend if K-State is selected. Being able to communicate tickets "pre-ordered" can be very helpful as we work with our bowl partners to present the best possible post-season scenario for the Wildcats.

Senior Night
Your last chance to see the 2010 Wildcats and K-State's 22 seniors at Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be Saturday when Texas comes to town. The game, which will be televised by ESPN2, kicks off at 7 p.m., but we encourage you to be in the stadium early by 6:50 p.m., when senior ceremonies begin to help recognize these young men. Tickets are still available for $75 by calling 1-800-221-CATS, visiting the ticket office at Bramlage Coliseum or ordering online at k-statesports.com.  Also, be sure to bring a canned food item or monetary donation to the game as our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be collecting for the 15th annual Cats for Cans food drive. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Hoops Time Ticket Update
We announced a few weeks ago that all reserved tickets for the men's season have been sold, and we are looking forward to a boisterous sellout crowd each night. There are still opportunities for fans to catch the men in action as single-game tickets for three games during the University's holiday semester break are on sale and available for purchase while they last! For $20 per game, or $45 for all three matchups, fans can choose between reserved seats in Section 18 or 25, or general admission tickets in Sections 19-24 as the Wildcats take on UMKC (December 23), North Florida (December 31) and Savannah State (January 3). To purchase tickets to any or all three of these games, visit the K-State Athletics Ticket Office, go online to k-statesports.com or call 1-800-221-CATS. 

Also, there are still tickets available for the Hy-Vee Wildcat Classic with UNLV at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on December 21. Tickets for this highly-anticipated matchup are priced at $40 (lower-level sideline), $30 (lower-level end zone) and $20 (upper level), and can be purchased through the Athletic Ticket Office or Ticketmaster, by calling (800) 745.3000 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com
.  Group tickets starting at $10 each are also available in the upper level.  

Season tickets for the women's games are available and the deadline to order four tickets for $200 is Sunday. Single-game tickets are also available for as low as $5. Both basketball teams are anxious to get the season started and we hope you pack Bramlage with purple and continue to make it one of the best environments in all of men's and women's college basketball. 

That's it for today. Busy week - thanks to all K-State fans for being part of the fun.

Go Cats!    

John Currie