We’re past the middle of May, and entering what would have been a slow time of the year on the sports calendar. Kansas State’s athletes would have mostly wrapped up competition for the year, and we could begin the summer as we always do: with speculation and anticipation.
Thanks to the coronavirus, both speculation and anticipation have become loaded and near-constant bywords for the college sports universe (Christopher Walsh, SportsIllustrated)
But things are beginning to look up. Sort of.
— There is a general feeling that college sports’ powers will put their heads together and come up with a solution that at least tries to work for every institution. But the different approaches each state has taken to the pandemic, and the conflicting interests of the various schools involved could throw a wrench in the works (J. Brady McCullough, LA Times).
— While there is no playbook for the current situation, the Big 12 has mostly forged ahead on the assumption that presidents and administrators at member schools will decide to have students back on campus for live classes in the fall, the lynchpin around which the season revolves (Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde, SI).
— Texas’ Tom Herman is ready to hit the field by June 1 and believes “the country needs it” (Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News). But Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley thinks bringing players back this early is “one of the most ridiculous things” he’s ever heard. No prizes for guessing which one of these Big 12 coaches was roasted on Twitter for his views (Dave Wilson, ESPN).
— Big 12 Media Days will be a virtual event this year. The event was originally set for July 20-21 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (ESPN).
— Of immediate relevance to Kansas State fans, Chris Klieman and his staff are returning to their offices on May 18th. They’ll take the recommended precautions as they continue to prep for the 2020 season, while having virtual meetings with the players (Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury).
— The staff has adjusted to the “new normal” of interacting with players over Zoom, even if they view it as less than ideal. Their players, a generation essentially raised on the Internet, have adapted to virtual meetings easily, and indeed, they appear to be thriving on it (D. Scott Fritchen, GoPowercat (free read)).
— Kellis Robinett, in his weekly K-State Q&A, riffs on Skylar Thompson’s legacy, offers way-too-early Big 12 football predictions, and injects some much-needed humor into the DeShaun Watson Page commit/decommit fracas (Wichita Eagle).
— Kansas State had a virtual ceremony for the annual Powercat Choice Awards. Dual sports star Peyton Williams was Female Athlete of the Year, while Tejaswin Shankar took that honor on the men’s side. The football team was the men’s team of the year, while the track team finished tops for the women (KStateSports). Joshua Youngblood was male Newcomer of the Year, and teammate Adam Holtorf was the school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
— Junior baseball player Zach Kokoska was named to the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team and to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. The outfielder is one of just three players in the conference with a 4.0 GPA (KStateSports).
— Chris Klieman was voted Super 11 Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), and the K-State athletics communication department was named to the Super 11 field of information departments. The honors go to coaches and programs excelling in media accessibility, relationships and operations.
And that’s all she wrote. Stay well, and as things begin to open up wherever you are, maybe consider investing in a K-State-themed face mask.
Have a great weekend!