There is very little happening in the world of Kansas State sports right now.
While there isn’t much to report from Manhattan right now, there’s plenty happening down in Lawrence, and given our relationship with our brethren down the Kaw, we should pay at least a bit of attention.
On Thursday, Kansas announced Jeff Long, formerly of Arkansas, as the new athletic director. He will be formally introduced on July 11, and his honeymoon period is likely to be brief.
More than anything, the hiring of Long—and an agreement to extend his contract should any programs at Kansas go on probation for conduct preceding Long’s tenure—suggests that Kansas is serious about fixing football. The Jayhawks are throwing a lot of money at the problem, although it remains to be seen if this will be effective.
Righting Kansas football is a tall order even for someone with both the SEC and the College Football Playoff Committee on his resume. It’s generally expected that Long will eventually replace David Beaty, but none of his previous football hires (Dave Wannstedt at Pitt, and Bobby Petrino and Bret Bielema, both at Arkansas) have been particularly successful.
Bielema’s tenure was especially problematic, as he finished 11-29 in conference play, the worst five-year tenure in school history. That means he’s probably the best hire for Kansas, and that should give Purple Nation a bit of pause. While BERT didn’t set the SEC on fire, he does have scoreboard on Bill Snyder.
Finally, in some good news from the other side of the world, four of the 12 football players trapped in a cave in Thailand have been rescued. The operation is on going as navy divers and rescue workers continue to monitor the situation.