We delayed the daily slate today to give TB’s post, encouraging K-State to meaningfully recognize its noteworthy pioneers of inclusion, time to take root. As he writes in an open letter to University President Richard Myers: “K-State broke the conference color barrier in football, basketball and baseball. But you would never know it by looking at the names of any building in the athletic complex.” TB is suggesting the university right that wrong, and he invites you to sign the letter and join in his request.
Our friends over at Wide Right & Natty Lite have resurrected the effort to design and propose a Farmageddon Trophy. This idea has bounced around before, but the effort appears to be in earnest this time. Now, how to commemorate a perennial purple gut-punch in bronze?
Drew broke down the commitment of 2001 tight end/offensive line recruit Austin Weiner, son of Todd Weiner, who was a 1997 All-American at K-State, and who went on to an 11-year career in the NFL.
Though the football team and athletes across campus have been united in their call for changes to curb racist rhetoric on campus, certain voices have stood out. One outspoken player, sophomore return man Joshua Youngblood, is pictured above. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, freshman defensive back Tee Denson’s name has also been mentioned prominently. Ryan Black (Mercury/subscription) reports that a phone conversation with senior Jonathan Alexander has helped Denson to put the issue of the racist tweet and the team’s and university’s response to it in clearer perspective.
The players’ stand against racism has made more national headlines, as Forbes Magazine’s Mike Berardino used events in Manhattan as a starting point to discuss the leverage that players wield in the age of social justice.
SI’s Greg Arias leads with the sensational statement: “The Kansas State football program is a mess right now, thanks to a social media post by one player that has brought about outrage and a total boycott by the majority of his teammates.“ There appears to be zero original reporting in the piece, which is an amalgamation of quotes and coverage seen elsewhere, interspersed with a dash of “what-if-ism.” Also, as we all know, a social media post “by a player” was not the genesis of the current turmoil.
Calling the whole program a mess, when the players and coaches are putting up a unified front to seek change and have the support of both athletic department and university administration, seems like unwarranted hyperbole. Maybe that’s just purple-tinted wishful thinking. Nobody in the university has denied that athletes are right to be outraged by racial hatred. Administration from the top down has listened, explained, and reassured Black athletes that they matter to K-State. If everyone is communicating, and all are working toward a common goal, isn’t that a hopeful sign? Isn’t it possible, in fact, that the program and the entire university could grow closer through seeking common ground?
It’s too early to assess the long-term affects of the incident and the outrage it has caused. But positive intent seem to prevail. Whether the program is a “mess” or not depends on the outcome of efforts yet to come.
Not all the news is based in controversy. 2019 graduate and St. John, Kansas native Dean Wade had his two-way contract converted into a multiyear deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. No more shuttling back and forth to the G-League for Dean. Now, if we can just get a full NBA season for him to play.
K-State women’s golfers Brony Balyes and Reid Isaac were named to the 2019-20 Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholars Team. Bayles, a junior-to-be from Durham England, is studying mechanical engineering and math. Isaac, from Montgomery, Texas, will be a senior in marketing. Students had to earn a GPA of 3.50 or better to qualify. Isaac made the team for the second straight year.