September 28, 2011
Good afternoon K-State fans!
The fall semester is off to a terrific start as our student-athletes, coaches and staff members continue to work hard each and every day.
I would like to commend Wildcat Nation on a strong showing in Miami last weekend as Coach Snyder and our football team were victorious in one of the most exciting games in all of college football. It has been a very exciting and successful season thus far in the Big 12 - ESPN released its latest conference ratings Monday with the Big 12 overtaking the SEC for the top spot thanks to a combined 26-2 record against non-conference opponents.
I know the last several weeks have been very frustrating and nerve-racking as so much speculation continues to swirl about the Big 12 Conference and other national alignment issues. As many of you already know, Texas A&M officially declared that it will enter the Southeastern Conference following the 2011-12 season, leaving the Big 12 with nine institutions.
Under the leadership of newly appointed Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas, a very experienced and highly successful administrator, we will remain focused on doing what we all believe is right for the membership of the Big 12 and the most important piece right now is the solidarity among the nine member institutions. We continue to maintain that K-State's interests are best served in our current contiguous geography and great rivalries. Certainly we are continuing to actively work together and with our colleagues to appropriately position K-State's rich athletics tradition and national brand.
As we have reiterated, President Schulz and I remain actively engaged in these conversations and issues. We both clearly understand the attention these important developments demand of us and we want to continue to assure Wildcat fans that K-State will always have a place at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.
As I stated in my previous letter, we have many strengths and advantages at K-State and the passionate support of Wildcat fans worldwide is envied by many. We are one of only 14 schools in the country this season to sell out multiple football games and are just one of four schools with stadium capacity under 60,000 to sell out the first two home games of the 2011 season. Let's make it three in a row this weekend as 15th-ranked Baylor visits Bill Snyder Family Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. ABC-televised matchup - fewer than 2,500 tickets remain!
In other department news, Coach Suzie Fritz and the volleyball team are off to a terrific start. Following Saturday's sweep of Baylor, the Cats moved to 12-3 on the season and 1-0 in Big 12 play. Martina Tresch led our cross country team with a meet record time of 20:58 last weekend in Minnesota, our equestrian team swept Minnesota-Crookston in its season opener at our new outdoor arena, our tennis team has kicked off its fall schedule with successful play in Milwaukee and Bloomington and our rowing team picked up wins in all four events entered at last week's Head of the Des Moines.
Our golf teams have also begun fall competition as the women's squad hosted the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational Monday and Tuesday under perfect weather conditions at Colbert Hills. The Cats finished second behind the play of Gianna Misenhelter, who finished second individually. The men's squad finished seventh last weekend in Fort Worth and will host the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate October 3-4 at Colbert Hills. If you have the opportunity, head out to the top public course in the state of Kansas and enjoy the beautiful Flint Hills and some free Wildcat golf action!
Lastly, I would like to congratulate and recognize former Wildcat greats Kendra Wecker and Mark Simoneau as the pair will be inducted this weekend into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday as members of the Class of 2011.
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Thank you for your continued support of our student-athletes and we will see you Saturday as we celebrate Fort Riley Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.