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K-State Holds Bowl Announcement Press Conference


GO WILDCATS Aubrey Quarles
GO WILDCATS
Aubrey Quarles
GO WILDCATS

Dec. 3, 2010

Athletics Director John Currie
Opening statement...
"Today we are excited to announce that we have accepted the invitation of the New York Yankees to be the Big 12 representative in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl on December 30. I want to thank the Steinbrenner family, team president Randy Levine, Mark Holtzman and the entire New York Yankees organization for this very special opportunity. I also want to thank our commissioner Dan Beebe, who had the foresight to recognize a year or so ago that this particular opportunity to partner with the Yankees and the Big East Conference and present this as a very good opportunity for our league. It will provide a lot of opportunities and advantages for our league and our member institutions.

"As we look at postseason opportunities, those of you that have followed us, especially for the last 18 months, as we have talked about the goals we have as an intercollegiate athletic program, you will remember that the No. 1 goal that we have talked about is having a world-class student-athlete experience. What could be more special than the opportunity for our student-athletes and our football program, as well as the band members and cheerleaders and others who surround our football program, to have the opportunity to experience a special time in one of the top cities in the world. We are very excited about delivering that opportunity for these folks, to have some fun, and at the same time play a football game.

"It is a great opportunity to expose our university, and to remind people that we are a national university. We have 200,000 alumni, half of which live around the country and around the world. We get to make sure that our university, under President (Kirk) Schulz's leadership, is doing great things, including our football program, which has the No. 1 graduation rate in the Big 12 for all football programs.

"On behalf of President Schulz and our entire university family, I want to thank Coach Snyder and his family and our entire football staff for their unbelievable leadership at our university over the past couple of years. He has come back into the program and brought our university and our football program right back into relevance. Last year we played for the Big 12 North Championship, and this year we have played our way right into the postseason. We had wonderful victories over UCLA, Texas and Kansas, as well as Central Florida, who turned out to be the best team in their league. I really appreciate Coach Snyder's leadership and the way that he has represented this university for so many years."

On playing in Yankee Stadium...
"The New York Yankees are obviously a first-class organization. It is one of the two or three most famous sports franchises in the world. I did have the opportunity this summer to see the new stadium when they invited the Big 12 athletic directors and some Big 12 representatives out to New York. I think they accomplished the move from an old, traditional stadium to a brand new stadium without losing the mystique, aura and history of the old stadium. It is a very impressive place."

On the K-State brand in New York City...
"The New York media market is the greatest in the world, so it is an incredible stage. When you look at the things that the bowl has planned, like the ability for our band to be on one of the morning shows, it is a great opportunity. Everywhere that K-State people go, they do such a great job of representing our community and our state. Purple stands out in the crowd, and they tend to make themselves seen and heard in a very appropriate way."

Head Coach Bill Snyder
Opening Statement...
"It is going to be a tremendous experience. I really appreciate new bowl systems, when they try to put these opportunities in play. I know that you all have heard me say on many, many occasions when asked if there are too many bowl games. No I do not think there are too many bowl games. I think if you would go back and look at what the bowl system has meant to Kansas State University over the years, it really has been very special. We are really honored to have the opportunity. This has made my wife happy. She loves New York. I think it is going to be a great experience for the youngsters in our program as so many of them have not had the opportunity to be in New York. We are going to learn to balance a variety of different things, but we do want them to have an enjoyable time while they are there and experience some things that they might not have otherwise had the opportunity to do. But I too, as John indicated, am grateful to the Yankees and their organization because they are expanding into this realm which is about young people and the growth of young people, and I truly appreciate that this is giving our young people a great opportunity. I was a big Yankee fan growing up in St. Joseph, Missouri. They had the Triple-A team play in St. Joe and Mickey Mantle came through St, Joe before anybody knew who he was, and I got to see him play when he was a young pup. They have always been on my radar screen in terms of baseball. I collected all their baseball cards and I used to have them until my mother gave them away. So it is all fallen into place. We are pleased to have this opportunity."

On the practice schedule leading up to the bowl game...
"Between now and the date that we leave, it is going to be a little bit piecemealed. We will have some brief practice opportunities during that particular week. With some of our coaches traveling, it is not going to be a regularly-scheduled, day-in, day-out opportunity. We started our practices on Thursday and we will practice again today and on Saturday morning. Some of our coaches will be gone on Saturday and some of our coaches will be gone on Sunday, so we will come back and practice on Monday. Then we will take a couple days off so our coaches can travel again and then we will come back and practice the remainder of that week. Then with final exams, we have identified a few opportunities that we will have that will not interfere with our youngster's preparation of final exams and their taking of final exams. Our youngsters will have some time to go home for Christmas, then they will come back and practice here on the 26 and we will leave after that."

On playing in Yankee Stadium...
"We have had feedback from the two schools that did play in the stadium. We know that they liked the venue. They thought the surface was very manageable and very playable. They addressed the locker rooms and where the assistant coaches are, because you do not have a football-type press box, so they have to use suites, and just a variety of logistics. But they were both very, very favorable about the opportunity to play there."

On getting back to a bowl game...
"Our goals have been the same forever, so I did not have a specific list of where we wanted to go, other than just to continue to improve our capability in a lot of different areas. But if there were such a list, getting back to a bowl game would certainly be high up on the list. You cannot accomplish all the other things without having the opportunity to win some ballgames and also create additional opportunities. But first and foremost, is that our youngsters have the opportunities to go somewhere that they deserve to be. Secondly, that they will hopefully have a very enjoyable time and this will be something that will be imprinted in their memories for a long period of time. Lastly, that we continue to develop young people that will be the foundation and the future for Kansas State football."

Quarterback Carson Coffman
On his reaction to the bowl decision...
"I am really excited. When I found out that we had an opportunity to go to this bowl, that is the one I wanted to go to. I am excited that we got it."

On why this bowl was his pick...
"I just thought that it would be a cool experience with going to New York. I have never been there but have always wanted to go. It will be the first year and it is in Yankee Stadium."

On what the past couple days have been like...
"We had most of this week off. Yesterday was our first practice since we played. It felt kind of good to get out there. Most of this week we are trying to get the younger guys most of the reps to develop them."

Wide Receiver Aubrey Quarles
On what he thinks of this decision...
"The decision is pretty cool and everything with me being from California and now going all the way to the east coast. That is great, but that is secondary to me. I am really out there to put on the Wildcat helmet one last time and go about my business and try to get the win."

On if he knows anything about Syracuse at this time...
"I do not know too much about them right now. I am sure Coach Snyder and the others will get us well prepared just like they do every week. We will be ready when December 30 comes around."

Defensive Back Stephen Harrison
On the opportunity to play in the Pinstripe Bowl...
"I think personally and as a team we are all excited for the activities that are planned for us in New York. It will be a great opportunity for the program and for us as individuals as well."

On if it means something to be the first team to play in the Pinstripe Bowl...
"I guess it means something. We were the first team to play in the Texas Bowl as well. That was my redshirt freshman year so I traveled down there. I am looking forward to it."

On if he is a baseball fan...
"I keep up with it every now and then. I know we are playing at Yankee Stadium so it will be special. I like the Yankees and the Rangers, but I am not a big baseball fan."