April 30 Priority Deadline Approaching: As we look ahead to the 2010 football season, we continue to encourage our fans to plan ahead! Season tickets remain on sale for those who have yet to renew or purchase and there is an assortment of options with incentive to purchase early as fans can utilize a four-payment plan option if they renew by THIS FRIDAY. A package of four End Zone Fun Zone season tickets are only $599 (savings of $197 if purchased separately) if ordered by Friday, while season ticket holders also have until Friday to purchase tickets to the November 6 Texas game for only $60 each, a savings of $15. ULCA will roll into Manhattan in just 130 days and we need to pack the stadium - Coach Snyder and our football team are counting on you!
Budget Update: As we move towards the month of May, we are deep into the budget planning process for FY11. A few ways that fans can help with that process is by joining the Ahearn Fund and by purchasing your football season tickets now. These two categories directly benefit the student-athlete experience and by acting now you enable us to more accurately forecast our capacity to help Wildcat coaches upgrade their competitive position. Visit AhearnFund.com for more information or call (785) 532-7715. We have had a good year on the expense control side and again we appreciate the ticket purchases and Ahearn gifts that have helped us track towards meeting our 2010 revenue goals.
The National Scene: There has been lots of news, or perhaps more correctly "talk" recently circulating regarding conference expansion. While there are all sorts of scenarios and conspiracy theories floating around the national media, primarily in potential reaction to changes the Big Ten may or may not make, K-State is well-positioned in a terrific conference like the Big 12. We have great national brands in our league (including the Powercat!), are rated as one of the top two conferences in most of our sports (number one in men's and women's basketball), have 14-percent of the nation's population in our geographic footprint and almost four million alumni and friends of our 12 institutions spread coast to coast. I like the proactive comments and steps Commissioner Beebe has taken and believe our league can continue to be not just viable, but among the leaders in college athletics.
NCAA Basketball Tournament: The NCAA Board of Directors is in the process of approving a new 14-year television agreement for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament with CBS and Turner Broadcasting. After spending much time over the last few months analyzing the options and viewing different presentations, I believe the slight expansion to the 68-team field is the right step. It is also great to have a broadcast partner like Turner getting more involved in the college sports world.
Powercat Auction Sets Record: Over 650 Wildcat fans attended the 26th annual Powercat Auction Friday night and thanks to your generosity over $300,000 was raised for the Ahearn Fund. Lon Floyd and Bernie Haney led a hard-working and creative committee of volunteers who made the event successful.
Home Track Meet this Weekend: The action this weekend at R.V. Christian Track Complex is your chance to see world-class student-athletes and maybe a few future NCAA champions or even potential Olympians. Coach Rovelto is internationally renowned for developing great athletes. Parking and the meet are free - I encourage fans who have never experienced a meet to come out for an hour or two. A few of the many "must see" events include the 110m hurdles at approximately 3 p.m. which feature Jeffrey Julmis, currently ranked 10th in the nation, and Sara Stoakes in the 800m at approximately 3:40 p.m., the Big 12 leader in the event who is coming off a win at the Drake Relays. The tentative schedule of events will be posted at www.kstatesports.com.
Reserve National Champions!: Congratulations to head coach Casie Lisabeth and our Reserve National Champion equestrian team as the Western squad finished second at the 2010 Varsity Equestrian National Championships. The squad peaked at the right time to earn its highest-ever finish and was just a few points away from a national title!
Rowing and Tennis Prepare for Championships: The women's rowing team will head to Oklahoma City this weekend for the Big 12 Championship, while the women's tennis team, fresh off a home win over Texas Tech on Senior Day, will begin the Big 12 Championships on Wednesday in Austin.
Golf at Big 12 Championships: Both of our golf teams participated in the Big 12 Championships this past weekend with Joe Ida's seventh-place individual finish leading the men to fifth place overall in Texas, while Morgan Moon tied for 18th overall to lead the Wildcats at the women's championship in Norman. Both teams remained in contention and showed great progress throughout the weekend before wrapping up play on Sunday.
Baseball at Home This Week: Our 20th-ranked baseball team had a soggy trip to Missouri last weekend, playing only two of the scheduled three games, but will return home tonight and tomorrow for games against Chicago State. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. tonight and 1 p.m. tomorrow. The Wildcats are in second place in the Big 12 at 9-5 and 27-10 represents one of our best starts ever.
Always log on to www.k-statesports.com for the most up-to-date information regarding our athletics programs and check back later this spring as we continue to announce new features and improvements that will enhance our overall fan experience! Thank you for your continued support. I will see you tonight at Tointon Family Stadium!