January 6, 2011
Happy New Year!
I hope all of Wildcat Nation had a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year. Let me start off today's note by thanking the 5,000-plus Wildcat fans who made the trip to New York City to support Coach Snyder and our football team at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Our fans, as they always do, did a great job of positively representing our university and, though the outcome of the game was one that was bittersweet, our players and coaches fought hard and provided one of the most exciting bowl games of the 2010 season.
Many fans have asked about the controversial play at the end of the game. Although we are prohibited from making specific comments about officiating, I want to assure all our fans that we do follow-up through the appropriate channels anytime we have specific questions. In this case, that follow-up began immediately and will continue.
I was extremely proud of all our student-athletes in New York - you should be as well - whether it was pushing stuck cars out of snow drifts, respectfully touring Ground Zero and other sights or just being polite and gracious with hotel staff and their bowl hosts, the Wildcats represented K-State and the state of Kansas the right way.
I would also like to recognize Dr. Frank Tracz and our Pride of Wildcat Land marching band, Dani Ruoff and our cheer squad, and Kathleen Henao and the Classy Cats for their support and dedication this season, especially at the bowl game. We are reminded at each game how lucky we are to have one of the best and most enthusiastic band and cheer squads in all of college athletics!
Unlike most bowls, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl does not require the attendance of the institutional band. However, from the moment we accepted the invitation, we were committed to having our wonderful band in attendance.
As we made plans for our trip to New York City, we were prepared to fly the 300-plus contingent by charter aircraft at a cost of approximately $300,000. But, after consulting with his section leaders, Dr. Tracz elected to travel by bus, reducing the travel cost by two-thirds. In gratitude for the spirit of our marching band, K-State Athletics will make a $100,000 contribution to the band scholarship fund from our bowl budget!
Speaking of Wildcats showing strong leadership, we would like to congratulate K-State double-graduate Sheahon Zenger who was named the Director of Athletics at the University of Kansas earlier this week! As many of you are aware, Sheahon began his career in athletics as a member of Coach Snyder's football staff and also worked at the KSU Foundation and as a senior staff member of the Athletics Department. I look forward to getting to know Sheahon and working with him as we move the Big 12 Conference forward.
Our basketball teams will begin conference play this weekend and Wildcat fans have a chance to make a statement on Sunday by "Packing the House" as the women take on Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. All tickets to the game, as well as selected concession items, are just $1. Come on out to Bramlage and help support Coach Patterson and the 10-3 Wildcats!
Following a trip to Stillwater this weekend, our men's team will return home on Wednesday against Colorado. We have made available for sale approximately 500 general admission tickets, located in Sections 19-24, for the 8 p.m., matchup, so be sure to secure your seat in Bramlage. Those tickets are priced at $40 each.
That's it for today. We'll see you on Sunday as we Pack the House against Oklahoma State!