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K-State Athletics Director John Currie and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Aug. 5, 2013

Athletics Director John Currie
Opening statement...
"We are very excited about the number of things happening. One of the great things that has happened to our conference and this university, over the last 15 to 16 months now, has been Bob Bowlsby's unbelievable leadership as our commissioner. He has done a great job of engaging, being on campuses, and being around our programs. It just so happened that his visit to coincide with football media day. We wanted to give our local media, and the people that cover us on a regulate basis, an opportunity to interface with him a little bit."

On playing weekday games...
"One of the things that we want to do at K-State as core goals, and the second is we want to add value to our university, community and state. We get a nice check from the Big 12 Conference and we want to provide value to our conference partners. One of the ways that we have provided value to our partners in the past is by being an institution that can occasionally host a Thursday night game, and we have done that successfully since I have been here. We did that in 2010. We do not want to do that every year. We recognize that it creates unique challenges. So we will work appropriately to do our part for the good of the whole conference. So when we do play on Thursday, it is a marquee night that high school players watch football games and the nation watches football game, and you are usually one of a handful of games on television rather than one of a thousand on television. As far as the Friday night game that we are playing this year, we are excited to be one of the debut games on Fox Sports 1. That would have not happened if it was the next week or any succeeding week because of the high school football issues. For us, and for our fans, this particular game is an advantage because of the way our team finished last year, the particular opponent we are playing, and the particular game and excitement about our program."

On the fan interaction at games...
"We have tried to be proactive about those issues of fan experience in the stadium. We would do things like live break-ins from other games in the stadium and stuff like that on the video boards this year. We also have been very fortunate that we are not the national trend. Our attendance has continued to improve over the last several years. We have sold a record number of season tickets this year. Unless we have awful weather, we should have the most people come to Bill Snyder Family Stadium in our history this year. We should target for 400,000 for the year, which would set an all-time attendance record. We cannot ever take that for granted. We have to be strategic in our pricing, which we have tried to be here over the last four years. We have incredibly loyal fans. We are proactively looking for video and audio enhancements. One of our in-house sayings is `yesterday's records is tomorrow's expectations.'"

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby
Opening statement...
"Another football season is here. It is an exciting time of year, and John (Currie) is the chair of our athletic directors this year. So we are doing a little planning session, and obviously there are enough things going on in the national level that we are not short on our agenda items. It is also fun to be here on media day. I have said it publicly, and I have said it privately to Coach Snyder, I think the job he has done at Kansas State University is probably the biggest turnaround in college football history. While I was at the University of Iowa, there was a stretch where there was 19-consecutive non-winning seasons and the job that Hayden Fry did there was truly extraordinary. I had firsthand experience with the Kansas State football program when I was at Northern Iowa, and we brought teams down here and won. Actually, I think we went home feeling like the better football team most of the time. What Bill inherited was truly extraordinary. As I have gotten to see the facilities and see what has happened here - it is really quite remarkable. A lot of people have had their hands on it, but I do not think anybody has done more than Coach Snyder. I was here last year for the Texas-Kansas State game and to see all the purple in the stands and to see the new stadium, full venue, all of the anticipation of the Westside Center and all of the things going on, it was really remarkable."

On what he sees Coach Snyder get out of his team...
"That is a pretty easy question to answer. Bill Snyder-coached teams never beat themselves. They tend to win the turnover sweepstakes, and they do all the little things well. If you are going to beat a Bill Snyder coached team, you are going to have to beat them because they will not beat themselves. I think over a long period of time, he has demonstrated that that kind of meticulous preparation will pay dividends."

On the accomplishment of winning three conference championships in a year...
"It is a huge accomplishment. In the case of basketball, it had been decades since the last championship. I think baseball is the same way. To do it with three major sports in the same year is an extraordinary accomplishment and one to be celebrated. I trust that there has been a fair amount of celebration here during the course of the year. Does Kansas State have all the advantages that other schools in the United States have? No, of course not. Kansas is a state just like where I grew up. There are a couple of flagship universities in the state and a lot of the populations focus on those two universities. I think Kansas State has done an extraordinary job. I think it is a lot of things. It is having the right people, the right engagement and the right loyalty of fans, which has been extraordinary. I think it is leadership. It is a whole bunch of things combined, and when you are winning it is usually the combination of a 100 different decisions that combine to give you the opportunity to be successful. I think this is a place where it is obvious that a lot of good decisions have been made and lots of hard work has been employed."