Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 17

Here are today's updates beginning with some thoughts on the state of college men's basketball and our program in particular.Basketball Reshapes Roster Amidst National Transfer EpidemicThis week Coach Weber announced two new spring signees, guards Carlbe Ervin and Kamau Stokes, to go along with our fall signing class of Kansas Player of the Year Dean Wade, Barry Brown and Dante Williams, who all led their teams to successful seasons this past year.  Click here to read Coach Weber's comments in our press release.  A common attribute of these five players is the toughness and resiliency they have shown in their basketball pursuits to this point and their commitment to winning which is evidenced collectively by five state championships, multiple playoff runs and All-America recognition.Although this past season included a number of highlights, including five wins over Top 25 opponents, a 7-2 Big 12 record in Bramlage and average home attendance that ranked 25th in the country, there is no question that it was a frustrating one that certainly fell short of the expectations of the K-State family, including Coach Weber, me and our loyal fans.I know that it has been concerning for many of our fans to see the attrition from the program, including the dismissal of three players, and the decisions of two players to transfer and seek opportunities to continue their education elsewhere.At the same time, I have heard from many K-State fans their appreciation of Coach Weber's determination that the commitment of student-athletes in our program reflect the advantages and opportunities that we offer here in Manhattan.  It is very encouraging to see the hard work and positive attitude of our returning players every day in the Basketball Training Facility as well as the excitement of our coaching staff as they continue to work on a few more potential additions to our roster.Sadly, our recent attrition is not unique in college basketball.  According to ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN who has worked hard to keep an updated list!) thus far in 2015, 475 (and counting) Division I men's basketball players are seeking a new school compared to 687 last year, 507 in 2013 and 445 in 2012. That's 2,114 in four years, an average of 6.02 outbound transfers for each of the 351 Division I schools!  You can click below for a few other recent national stories on the topic:Star Player Among Eight Who Have Left Another ProgramNCAA Sweet 16 "Hero" Among Latest TransfersCoach Concerned About Transfer EpidemicWhile many different factors can play into student-athlete departures, including the "instant gratification" expectations of playing time and notoriety at a new school, a further dive into the numbers shows that of the 65 "Power 5" conference schools, 63 have had at least one men's basketball transfer in the past three seasons, including all 10 members of the Big 12 and all schools in the Pac-12 and SEC. Power 5 schools with at least five transfers the past three seasons includes the likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington State, Clemson, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Texas and West Virginia, in addition to K-State.The recently formed Transfer Issues Subcommittee of the new NCAA "Council" is studying this issue closely.  Dr. Tim Day, Faculty Athletic Representative at Iowa State (and a K-State grad), is the Big 12's member on this committee.We believe K-State is a special place that affords incredible opportunities for student-athletes in one of the nation's great conferences, as our continued academic and athletic successes demonstrate.  Across the department we have tremendously talented, experienced and successful coaches who have the best in mind for our student-athletes.  We are fortunate at K-State to have such a quality and loyal group of coaches, and I am already looking forward to next season!Former Greats Larry Brown and Clarence Scott Named Honorary Captains for Spring GameYesterday, we announced details surrounding next weekend's sold-out Purple/White Spring Game at Sporting Park, including pregame activities in the Sprint Plaza and a special announcement that former Wildcat and NFL greats Larry Brown (1972 NFL MVP) and Clarence Scott (12-year NFL career and K-State Athletics Hall of Famer) will be in attendance and serve as honorary game captains.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know both Larry and Clarence and both are terrific K-Staters.  Clarence, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, even met our group of 39 Ahearn Fund members who visited the College Football Hall of Fame Museum on their way to watch Robert Streb in last week's Masters Tournament.  The group was overwhelmed by Clarence's stories and passion for K-State, and we appreciate him taking the time to visit.  Click here for our full release on spring game details, and we will see you and 16,000 of your closest friends in KC next week!Busy Weekend Underway Following Equestrian Win on Thursday at National ChampionshipsIt will be another busy weekend of action for all of our Wildcat teams in competition.  In addition to our big baseball series with Texas Tech, which can be seen on Cox Kansas at 3 p.m. today and FOX College Sports on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.), our equestrian team is in Waco, Texas, for the NCEA National Championships and began action yesterday with a big 10-5 win over SMU to advance in the championships.  The squad faced top-seeded Georgia today in the quarterfinals, and be sure and check k-statesports.com for final results in what was a tightly-contested match at the time I was writing this letter.  We also have two road tennis matches this weekend as Coach Steinberg's troops will face Texas today in Austin and Baylor on Sunday in Waco.  Our track and field teams are in Lawrence this weekend for the Kansas Relays and rowing is in Tennessee for the SIRAs.  Finally, both golf teams will be in action as the men will play in the Hawkeye Intercollegiate in Iowa City, Iowa, and the women will be in Columbus, Ohio, for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational.  Best of luck to these teams, and be sure and follow the weekend's action at k-statesports.com.Hale Library Checks in with a #4 National RankingCollegeRank.net recently evaluated hundreds of university libraries across the nation, and K-Staters will be proud that our own Hale Library checked in at No. 4 on the list!  Click here for the website's complete listing of top libraries. The evaluation was based on amazing on-campus experiences, stunning and rare book collections found inside as well as the fantastic campus views offered.  Congratulations to Dean Lori Goetsch on this accomplishment and to learn more about how you can support the Friends of K-State Libraries, click here.We have made tremendous progress under President Schulz's leadership toward the K-State 2025 goal of ranking among the nation's Top 50 public research institutions.  And speaking of President Schulz, he will be in Washington DC on Monday to take part in the Big 12 Conference's third and latest forum on the state of intercollegiate athletics.  You can watch the forum live by clicking here beginning at 1 p.m. CT, while President Schulz's segment will begin at approximately 2:45 p.m. CT.  Click here for more information on the forum.That will do it for today.  A quick reminder that next Friday is our football season ticket renewal deadline so be sure and secure your seat now for an exciting (and anticipated sold-out!) 2015 season in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Click here for more information.Go Cats!John