FanPost

My wish list for KSU Athletics in 2014

Rather than talk about wanting wins and championships, my list is for the overall direction of the program.

#1 - Begin planning for expanding BSFS. We sold 43K season tickets for a stadium that "seats" 50K. With admissions continuing to expand and Manhattan growing, Its time to start thinking about getting to 60-65K. Doing this while maintaining the dominance of the new West stadium center wont be easy so start planning Now. I would like to see the Vanier side closed in with a bigger AD complex - kinda like what OSU has. Done right it could add seats and help close in sound to make the already loud Bill even better.

#2 - Add sports. We participate in the second fewest sports of any school in the Big 12 and are close to the NCAA minimum. To keep down costs I think we should add to sports within our existing facilities.

Women: Softball
Men: Tennis

Facilities for both of these exist though there would be a need to expand locker/clubhouse type facilities. Softball is limited to 12 scholarships and Men's Tennis is limited to 4.5.
Next add Women's Soccer. We are the only Big 12 school that doesn't compete in Soccer. Soccer would add another 12 scholarships and would require some facilities but not much.

28.5 scholarships plus all the coaches and equipment cannot be more than $2 million a year. Very affordable when you consider our conference payout has doubled since 2010 while our expenses have not. With the football playoff and tie to the SEC and the Sugar Bowl we could see our payout go up to $40 million next year. This would raise the overall stature of the University and of the Athletic Department. And adding 24 women's scholarships vs 4.5 men's helps with Title IX compliance.


#3 - Start scheduling as a Department. I would love to see us start using the entire Athletic Department to schedule sports. As an example - instead of football scheduling UMASS in a vacuum, schedule them in football, men's and womens basketball, rowing, baseball, cross country and tennis. When possible schedule those events together to make them fan friendly. Another example is Auburn. Why not schedule them in football (tough tough game), basketball (should be a win for Cats most years), baseball (tough game), golf (no idea), etc. Why in the world don't we have a basketball, baseball, volleyball, golf, track and field "All Kansas" championship with KU and Wichita State? Quality opponent, minimal travel, bragging rights. I would love to see some kind of "border war" with Creighton. Same thing - quality opponent, fan friendly. Sure WSU and Creighton are "mid majors" but the rising tide lifts all boats. By promoting great regional competition we increase the value of all of our programs. We can build strong regional rivals that allow our fans to travel without breaking the bank. Fayetteville is closer than Dallas so why are we not scheduling Arkansas? Why not an "AFC" series with Tennessee where we play a game in KC and a game in Nashville followed by basketball games in Memphis and KC? We can use scheduling the power of our "up" sports to lift the entire department. We can also use the "whole department" scheduling to get games we would not otherwise have a shot at. As an example, schedule Indiana/Kentucky in Football (we should win every time), basketball (probably lose 7 of 10) and baseball (toss up). We trade a near guaranteed win in football - a sport Indiana and Kentucky show mild interest in - for a quality basketball opponent and a quality baseball opponent that we might otherwise not be able to schedule.

#4 - Football specific scheduling. Commit to the 1-1-1. One "money" game against a FBS lightweight (UMAS type). One game against someone we SHOULD beat (Indiana/Kentucky/Maryland). One game against a top tier team (Auburn, USC, UCLA, Louisville). Yes some years we will miss and catch a school down and some years we will run into a buzz saw but it is worth it.

All of these are long term things but everything has to have a start point. With grant of rights locking in almost every big school, I think expansion is over for a few years. We need to use this time to ensure that if the music starts playing again we have a chair to sit on.

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