Friday, February 3, 2006

Football facility plans nearly set in stone


It appears Kansas University has secured enough funds to move forward with a long-proposed football facility.

KU officials have scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Sunday to discuss a "football project" with members of the media, many of whom will be at KU anyway for the men's basketball game against Oklahoma two hours later.

According to a release sent out Thursday afternoon, Chancellor Robert Hemenway, athletic director Lew Perkins and coach Mark Mangino will be present to discuss the project Sunday. Sources said those making major donations toward the facility also would be present.

KU aggressively has raised funds for a football facility for more than a year. If completed as envisioned, the facility would be built adjacent to Memorial Stadium and include offices, weight and training rooms, locker rooms and meeting rooms, as well as a nearby football practice field.

KU had received significant donations from Tom and Julie Kivisto, Dana and Sue Anderson and Sharon Lynch Kimbell toward the project. In addition, a $6.5 million, interest-free loan from an anonymous donor was approved last month for the facility.

Reached Thursday, Perkins and associate athletic director Jim Marchiony declined to provide further details regarding the project, such as any sort of timetable or where the complex might be located.

Contract status: Perkins also declined comment when asked if a contract extension for Mangino was a possibility.

"I don't discuss that kind of stuff with the media," Perkins said.

Perkins said Mangino currently was under contract for the next three seasons, which is through 2008.

Mizzou games moved: KU's rivalry games against Missouri the next two seasons will be moved to Thanksgiving weekend for television purposes.

Kansas will play Nov. 26 at Missouri for the 2006 season, then play Missouri on Nov. 24, 2007, at Memorial Stadium. Those dates mean guarantee TV for the Border War game and assure KU an idle week in the middle of its 12-game regular season.

For 2006, the bye week will be Nov. 11, before KU closes out the season against Kansas State and Mizzou.


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