A Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 8, 2015

Good afternoon K-State Nation!

I want to start today by reflecting on what was an incredible and memorable weekend at K-State, beginning with the Varney’s Invitational at Bramlage Coliseum as Coach Suzie Fritz and the volleyball team won all three matches against Green Bay, UNLV and the University of California to take home the title. The atmosphere inside Bramlage was great with the videoboard and lighting system complementing great crowds for all three matches. Congrats to Coach Fritz and the Cats on the tournament title and their 5-1 start to the season.

Friday night was also very special as we officially welcomed four new members into the football Ring of Honor during a formal induction banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn.  It was very inspiring to hear Michael, Jordy, Clarence and Darren talk about their time at K-State and what being a Wildcat means to them.  And thanks to our 21st consecutive sell-out crowd for the rousing ovation during halftime of Saturday’s game as we officially unveiled their names on the east side of the stadium.  It was truly a weekend those four will never forget, and we appreciate each and every one of them, their families and what they have done for Kansas State.

We also were pleased to have Will Rudd from the National Football Foundation and Jeff DeVolder from Fidelity Investments on hand before Saturday's game as they helped salute Coach Snyder on his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Will was impressed with the “stripe out” game and loved the Snyder t-shirts that were on display by the sold-out crowd.  He even took one back home with him!

And speaking of the stripe out, all I can say is WOW!  The stadium was rocking and the alternate purple and white sections of the stadium looked incredible.  I have had many folks via social media and even via some of the thousands of fans watching on K-StateHD.TV send messages on how great the crowd and stadium looked.  It was certainly an outstanding game as well as our kickoff return unit got things going quickly behind Morgan Burns’ 100-yard return to open the game, and anytime your defense can pitch a shutout it is a great thing.  We are looking forward to heading back to San Antonio this weekend as we face UTSA at 11 a.m. on Saturday.  Be sure and tune in to FOX Sports 1 or listen to Wyatt and Stan along the K-State Sports Network.  Click here for all things surrounding Saturday’s game including the Alumni Association pregame event.

Our women’s golf team is hosting the Marilynn Smith Invitational out at Colbert Hills with final round action taking place today.  The Cats are looking to improve upon their fifth-place standing after the first two rounds.  Check kstatesports.com later today for final results.  And congrats to former Wildcat Robert Streb on advancing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs as he will play in the BMW Championships, September 17-20.

We also ended up with some unplanned attention that bounced around social media and our community over the last few days.  I love our band and Dr. Tracz, our director.  As I have said many times both publicly and in this letter series, the Pride of Wildcat Land is one of the most important drivers of what I believe to be among the very best gameday environments in all of college football.  Our 400-plus band members work tirelessly and their hard work and commitment to represent K-State and support our athletic teams is very much appreciated by our coaches and staff.  Dr. Tracz has dedicated his career to our band students and K-State, and we are fortunate to have his leadership.

On Sunday we received a sportsmanship inquiry from the Big 12 Conference pertaining to the use and destruction of the Jayhawk mascot during the halftime show.  We are committed to providing the Best Fan Experience in the Big 12 and a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience, and good sportsmanship is a key component of those goals.  The use of a rival mascot in such a manner is another example and good reminder that we have to continue to evolve and determine the fine line between having innocent fun and being disrespectful.  We remain committed to Commissioner Bowlsby’s conference-wide emphasis on sportsmanship, evidenced by our recent student sportsmanship pledge, and will continue to work hard to provide the best environment for our fans, student-athletes and visitors.

As a result of this incident, the University issued a press release earlier today outlining the incident and several agreed-upon sanctions.  You can click here to see President Schulz’s full comments.

Thank you for making K-State a special place - we will do our part to ensure that K-State remains a national leader in fan support and sportsmanship.  Have a great rest of the week, and………

Go Cats!

John