Yesterday’s predominant news item of interest did not specifically mention the Wildcats, but its repercussions across all of college sports will be felt as much by K-State as any other NCAA athletic institution. As our AMS succinctly summarized, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down the artificial limits on educational benefits “paid” to student athletes in exchange for their services which have generated billions of dollars on the courts and playing fields of college institutions. The decision in NCAA v. Alston does not create a financial free-for-all, where colleges must operate like professional leagues. But it certainly signals that the Court does not buy the litany of supposed justifications for the association’s business model.
In a concurring opinion Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was especially strident, suggesting that the entire house of phone financial cards may eventually fall. His shot across the NCAA leadership’s bow conveyed a clear message: Fix this, or we will. Lawyers for current and former student athletes are no doubt encouraged to target litigation toward attacking the jealously guarded notion of amateurism, which has been the long-standing bedrock of the collegiate sports financial model. Even though the sum and substance of that model remains, for now, the mothership describes the outcome of the case as a “mammoth loss” for the NCAA.
Some of our favorite former Wildcats will again team up to pursue the $1 million grand prize in “The Basketball Tournament.” The purple alumni have not fared well in previous efforts, bowing out in 2019’s first round to a team of former Colorado Buffalos and exiting early in other attempts, as well. The former Cats are seeded 7th and will play regional contests in Wichita’s Koch Arena, beginning with No. 10 seed Omaha Blue Crew on Friday, July 16. The roster includes Curtis Kelly, Martavious Irving, Thomas Gipson, D.J. Johnson, Justin Edwards, Cartier Diarra, Kamau Stokes and Ron Freeman. To fill out the bench, they added Trevor Gaskins (Ole Miss/La. Tech), Marquis Addison (Missouri Southern State), Moses Morgan (DePaul/Cal State Fullerton) and Marvin Clark (Michigan State/St. Johns).
Alas, no Jacob Pullen on the roster.
Track and Field
KSHB’s “100 days of Kansas City Area Olympians” series celebrated gold medal high jumper Erik Kynard in its countdown to the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.
Rising K-State senior Chantoba Bright won both the long jump and triple jump competitions at the Athletics Association of Guyana Senior Championships. She dominated the triple-jump, winning by nearly three feet with a 13.53 meter (44-04.75 feet) performance. Her 6.28 meter (20-07.25 feet) flight in the long jump bested the competition by nearly a foot.
BracketCat reminded us that opening day is only 76 days away with his profile of offensive stalwart Josh Rivas.
Coach Klieman and his staff got a Father’s Day commitment from Wichita linebacker Tobi Osunsanmi, who chose the Cats over Akron, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, and Kansas. He is the fifth commitment to the 2022 class.
K-State soccer has finalized a 20-game schedule for the upcoming season that includes two exhibition contests and nine home games. The highlight of the nonconference slate is a visit from Indiana on September 12.
K-State tennis was honored with the Central Region Community Service Award from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Community Service Award. The squad is one of nine teams honored across NCAA Division I and will now be considered for the national award.