AD John Currie Holds Press Conference

Kansas State Press Conference

Athletics Director John Currie
Opening statement...
"It has been a tremendous year for Kansas State University. President Schulz has provided tremendous leadership and is moving us forward towards the goal of being top 50 institution with his 2025 vision and plan. At the same time, the athletic achievements that have been accomplished in K-State's athletic department are a testament that we are moving forward towards our vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program. Once again, we have the highest four-year average graduation rate in the Big 12 including the highest men's basketball and football rates in the league. Our equestrian team won the Reserve National Championship, we reached the Elite Eight in men's basketball and competed for a north title in football. We balanced our budget and set attendance records that have grown by 25% and have sold 1,000 more tickets to date than last year. Our baseball team competed in its second straight NCAA regional and our APR scores ranked among the best in the conference. Yet we found ourselves in an uncertain position and an uncertain world over the last several weeks. I appreciate the fans and internal constituents for staying the course and staying focused on what we really are about.

During this process our main priority as an institution was to keep the Big 12 Conference intact and build upon the success and storied history. We have worked actively towards that process and goal. President Schulz has been terrific and has continued to gain trust with his conference colleagues. Governor Mark Parkinson, the Kansas Board of Regents, Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, and Sue Peterson were also very helpful and extended a great deal of time and energy ... we are very appreciative of their work. Lew Perkins and Chancellor Gray-Little at the University of Kansas - from the onset, we understood the significance of our relationship together as it relates to the state of Kansas - and I am grateful for their collaborative efforts. My colleagues from across the league were instrumental in recognizing the tools that were needed to keep our league together and I have so much respect for each and every one of them. It has been my pleasure to serve alongside them and I look forward to a long future together.

Finally, I would like to commend Commissioner Dan Beebe for his efforts and persistence in helping our league stay together. I have the utmost respect for him and the principles by which he operated throughout these last few weeks, and we look forward to continuing our working relationship as he leads this great conference into the future.

Obviously we are very pleased with the outcome and truly believe that the commitments that were made by the 10 institutions that remain in the Big 12 Conference is in the best interest of all, including Kansas State."

On the magnitude of this decision to keep the Big 12...
"It has been a very intellectually stimulating week. There have been a number of highs and lows. It has been much like a ball game. When you guys asked me how the meeting went in Kansas City, I said that I was really optimistic even though there were some that just wanted to write gloom and doom. The reason I was optimistic was because I had witnessed over the last 12 months a steadily, progressive level of dialogue within the room in terms of people being able to share and be honest with what they thought would be best for our long term success. It had grown and grown and I feel that we got to a tipping point just like in a basketball game, where you are standing on the free throw line with two shots that could either win you the championship or lose it, and I felt like coming out of the meeting that we had the chance to win. We were at the point to win and move our league forward. There was an obvious desire from the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors to endorse and support this league moving forward. Thanks to the tireless efforts of a number of people, that has happened."

On whether everyone in the league is pleased with the way everything turned out...
"I think everyone in the league is pleased that we are continuing on in the Big 12. Each institution has its own process and it was important that we all understand that everyone has to have that process. In the collegiate world there is a participatory decision-making process that varies from campus to campus. So, when other schools like Kansas or ourselves need to make decisions we have to do so institutionally. We were able to get through that and are now able to move forward in a very positive direction."

On whether he believes that 10 is the right number of teams in the league...
"I feel that the commissioner (Dan Beebe) answered that very clearly yesterday. It is going to be a very exciting 10-team league and if down the road there is some reason to explore other options then I suppose that might be considered. At this point we have a pretty compelling deal to stay at 10. From an athletics standpoint, a student-athlete standpoint or a fan's standpoint, this league which has been great, just got better."

On the pledges of the 10 schools...
"I think everyone pledged a long term commitment to the league. When it comes from a president of an institution that represents the governmental aspect it is a pretty solid commitment. I think that the president and chancellors will work with great speed to put all the stuff together. I am very confident and that we are on the right track and that we have made a quantum leap forward from even where we were a few weeks ago."