Saturday, July 12, 2008


Woodling: KU still playing catch-up


Spin doctors at Missouri University sent an e-mail to alumni members not too long ago trumpeting the Tigers' success in athletics during the 2007-2008 school year.

Missouri finished - fanfare, please - 38th in Director's Cup standings compiled by the nation's athletic directors (NACDA). Big deal, huh? Thirty-eighth in the nation. Whoopee.

Looking at it another way, while Kansas University fans are still trumpeting the school's NCAA title in men's basketball and the Jayhawks' best football season in modern history, Missouri is ballyhooing a 38th place finish in the NACDA rankings.

Yeah, yeah, I know Missouri beat Kansas in football last fall - and soundly at that - but Kansas had the last laugh by securing a more prestigious bowl bid. Then the Jayhawks left Missouri in the dust during men's basketball season.

Kansas didn't have to announce its NACDA ranking, and didn't. With good reason. After winning the Orange Bowl and the school's third NCAA men's basketball title, why spoil the euphoria by dispensing negative news?

The Jayhawks were 58th on the NACDA chart, or 20 points lower than Missouri. That hardly seems like a chasm, yet in the provincial picture it was the difference between sixth place and 10th place among Big 12 Conference schools.

Still, 10th place in the Big 12 isn't where Kansas wants to be. Chancellor Bob Hemenway made that clear five years ago when he hurled multiple dollar signs to lure Lew Perkins away from Connecticut with the express purpose of upgrading the overall athletic program.

"We don't want to be in the bottom quarter of the Big 12 Conference," Hemenway said at the time.

And yet, based on the NACDA standings - the official measuring stick - Kansas is still a bottom-quarter Big 12 school despite a dramatically expanded budget fueled by Perkins' transformation of the athletic department from a quasi-business into a functioning corporation.

On a positive note, that 58th place finish is the highest in the last five years, but it's really just a baby step because KU ratings during that period were all in the 60s. And, the Jayhawks probably would have landed in the 60s again last year if not for the national basketball title.

It's no coincidence Kansas enjoyed most of its success in the only two sports that generate real revenue. That's where the money is and that's where Perkins has placed the bulk of his resources.

For instance, the new football facility at Memorial Stadium is officially known as The Anderson Family Football Complex. It could also be called The Anderson Family Taj Mahal. Upgrades are coming for men's basketball, too.

It's no secret women's sports have been a drag on the Jayhawks' NACDA standing. KU's women have had a few moments in the sun, but generally the school's female athletes have not been competitive in the Big 12.

Hemenway has often said he wants KU to rank among the top 25 schools in the nation, both in academics and athletics. Academic rankings are based mostly on guesswork but, thanks to NACDA, athletics can be ranked.

And Kansas, as you can readily see, has a hill much higher than Mount Oread to climb.


jhawkshocker 11 years, 7 months ago

I would agree that the "spin doctors" at MU are taking some facts and putting a positive spin to it.But, you sir, are taking some facts and putting your ownnegative spin to it.To say that KU female athletes are "not competitive" in the Big 12 is an insult.

Jason Sinclair 11 years, 7 months ago

"While I'd like to see us do better in the NACDA standings, the reality is that a national championship in basketball counts no more than a national title in women's swimming."A national championship in men's basketball counts more than winning all the women's championships put together - or all the men's save for football. Kansas could be the national champ in every single non-revenue sport at the same time and it wouldn't matter as much a men's basketball or football championship.

rockchalk_dpu 11 years, 7 months ago

Hawksj,I think you are falling into a dangerous trap in which the "lesser sports" will be left behind and slowly drag down the entire athletic program. While I am not saying I expect a title in every sport each year, it should be a goal to be competitive in the Big 12 and move into the realm of a school like Texas, who has a strong program in just about every sport and gets the money through donations to keep it going.Lew has this athletic program on the right track and has made his mark on the two "bigger sports" as we have mentioned numerous times and seen in the form of the OB win and the NT. What needs to happen now in my opinion is to continue funding those programs, but also reach out to the others that are almost there and begin to give them some additional help. This can be a slow process, but if we commit to it, then we could one day be considered in the same breath with those schools who despite the sport, always seem to be competing at the end of their season.I know that this whole business is about dollars and cents and who can bring in the most in donations, but it serves everyone if we start to look at areas where we can increase funding without a loss to other areas. I do not envy Mr. Perkins job in that area. The entire program should keep the mantra of the football team and just keep "sawin' wood" and we will surely get to the level we know we can be at.RCj

prairie_dog 11 years, 7 months ago

What a stupid article! What is last place? Give me an Orange Bowl win, a 12-1 season and a national bball championship every year and put us in last place. I hope the minor sports win but, if they don't, I really don't care as long as the football and bball teams win. The only exception is that I would like to see our women's bball team come around.And by the way, like everyone has already said, we were an onside kick recovery away from winning the Missery game.

JHWKNMIZRY 11 years, 7 months ago

Hey Chuck, Why don't you give us the top ten or even top twenty list of this very elite club and let's all see who we would want to trade places with overall. So far I wouldn't trade with MU and I doubt if there are many schools there that would make me want to switch places. Does "soil judging" enter into the equation too??

FlaHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

While I agree with Chuck that KU is certainly in the bottom of the Big XII in overall athletics. I am not sure that Lew had much choice.KU AD had very little money when Lew arrived. Probably only more than KSU and ISU. He has increased the budget witht he main revenue sports Football and Mens Basketball.It will take a couple of years for excess revenues in these sports can be feed to the minor sports. I hope that Lew's next focus is Women's Basketball. This can be a revenue sport, but I question what Coach Bonnie can deliver at $500K a year. Wasn't it less than 10 years ago that KU cut Men's sports teams to save money rather than offer more Women's programs.The Chancellor's dream of Top 25 in academics and athletics is probably a pipe dream on both fronts. KU just does not have endowments (academics) or the Sports budget to achieve either. A more worth goal would be to get in the Top 50% of Big XII. Academically, KU Is their but as Chuck points out KU is in 10th place athletically.KU AD spends about in 6-7th place in Big XII. This shows that KU has a long way to go to produce what they are spending. KU put themselves in a real hole with the advent of the Big XIII. They were very short sighted and they last 8 years or so before they realized and would admit they were out classed by Texas schools (even Baylor!!!!!).Don't get me wrong, Lew is doing a great job. He is using the only real tools he has to generate money. However, recutiring all Big XII talent in minor sports will take a decade more to get KU into Top Half of Big XII in all-around competition. Almost all coaches will ahve to go in the minor sports if KU Is to make top half of Big XII. GO HAWKS!

Justin Anderson 11 years, 7 months ago

Every year Chuck drags out the mythical all big 12 sports champion and this ludicrous ranking as well and every year everyone who reads the paper talks about how insignificant this and the so called big 12 rankings are. Chuck, give it rest. No other big 12 paper prints the mythical big 12 standings, just Chuckie. WE had the best year in the big 12 period. Let it go or retire chuck. Yeah we know you dont like Lew. Let it go and Just report the sports.

Ryan Gerstner 11 years, 7 months ago

Yep, we got beaten real soundly when we have the ball in the final seconds with the opportunity to drive the field for the win. I think Chuck left halfway through the 3rd quarter.While I'd like to see us do better in the NACDA standings, the reality is that a national championship in basketball counts no more than a national title in women's swimming. Plus, for schools that field more sports, they're racking up more points in addition to some sports just don't have as many schools participating like wrestling. So until they get a real formula that places some extra value on football and basketball, the athletic cup is worthless in my eyes.Of course, Mizzou would crow about 38th place. When your entire existence has been defined by mediocrity, 38th sounds pretty good, huh? I'll bet a soil judging championship over there would get them a day out of classes and probably a parade too! Well, maybe next year they can finally break through. Better luck next year Mizzou.

Brad Avery 11 years, 7 months ago

"Yeah, yeah, I know Missouri beat Kansas in football last fall - and soundly at that..." Perhaps you missed the second half, Chuck. KU rallied. If the Jayhawks don't miss two chip shot field goals in the first half, it's a tie game at the end of regulation.

GoHawks1 11 years, 7 months ago

You conveniently left out the fact that Missouri participates in more sports than KU which significantly contributes to their rankings. Missouri has womens gymnastics, mens wrestling, and mens swimming & diving which KU does not participate. Two of these sports, womens gymnastics & mens wrestling, are two of the lesser participated sports among D-1 schools.

Mo Mosallaei 11 years, 7 months ago

If we continue to have sports seasons like 2007-2008, but keep scoring low in the NADCA, I'll take that any day. About the only possible way to improve on our current season would have been to beat MU in football.

Driver08 11 years, 7 months ago

Another fine article by Woodling. Sounds like he didn't even get his facts straight. You all know that he is a Mizzou alum, right?

Lindsey Buscher 11 years, 7 months ago

Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't Care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't Care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't Care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't Care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't Care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't care Don't Care Don't care Don't care

joedavis 11 years, 7 months ago

This is false reporting. Kansas was 54th... Iowa State was 58th. That puts us at 9th out of the Big 12, not 10th.Woodling, at least get your facts straight.

actorman 11 years, 7 months ago

"The only exception is that I would like to see our women's bball team come around."While I basically agree with you, prairie dog, it would be nice to see the baseball team do well too. They made the CWS once, it would be great to see them do it again. For that matter, I also wouldn't mind seeing the soccer team do well. Okay, who am I kidding, I want to see KU do well in everything. But I agree that football and mbb are more important than the others combined.

KU 11 years, 7 months ago

All this proves is that MU is mediocre in just about every sport (except football) and KU excels at the two sports that really matter.Now, if you want to look at how the REAL world measures success, look at the rankings for Big 12 revenue shares for 2007-08. I bet KU ranks #1 in the conference in dollars received from the conference pool (which is largely made up of TV money, bowl money and NCAA tournament money).

eastcoasthawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Someone tell Woodling and his tigger homerism to go to hell. He has nothing better to report on than an email he may have gotten because he is a misery alum? Sounds like blog fodder as opposed to a storyline. Of course, had he reported that the Jayhawks were ranked 58th in the country considering the fact that we have teams participating in 50% of the sports that qualify for the rankings wouldn't have garnered much interest. He's got to raise his comment hits somehow and justify his salary.He raised my interest in this report but no thanks to him I understand the facts now. Maybe we should start fencing, rifle and women's bowling teams to up our rankings and make Chuck happy. I'm sure there are not many schools competing for those recruits and it won't cost much to start them up.

Mr_Sandman 11 years, 7 months ago

Don't care one bit about this stupid director's cup thing. Oh no, we didn't get any points for womens golf and Mizzou did, who cares. As one poster pointed out, KU doesn't even play some of the sports that this award gives points for. We did well in the two premier sports: why do the writers on KU's own site have to rain on this parade?

David Wanamaker 11 years, 7 months ago

Hey Chuck...think MU wouldn't trade their 38th place finish for our BCS Bowl Victory and Basketball National Championship? Well, Mizzou fans might be too stupid to trade, but pretty much everyone else in the nation would.I think I'll keep the Orange Bowl victory and Basketball NCAA Championship, thank you.

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

You know who the Mizzou athletic department has working for them now?!?

TheChyna 11 years, 7 months ago

I imagine Chuck gets up in the morning, begins reading the comments under his columns and chuckles his arse off. It's like puppetry.

yovoy 11 years, 7 months ago

which parade? the parade i went to didn't have a bit of rain: i went to a parade to welcome the ncaa div 1 national champions! no other team ranked above or below us had one. i know missouri didn't have a parade like that, and i also know that they probably never have/will. let the rank-ers rank (or be rank), lets enjoy what we have. i did get a little bit of rain on the way back from miami. i've "paraded" up and down 35 (to d-town) more times than i can count, and i paraded down to miami, but i know being the orange bowl champs (and being in miami in jan.) beats whatever their other "minor" sports did. i'm just enjoying dvr of our bowl AND of our run to the championship, and no "ranking" can spoil it for me. thanks mr. woodling, you seem to have brought others down, but not me. if the fact is that we ranked lower than mu, then we did. the fact seems to be that they outranked us, and i'm okay with that. sure, i'd like to see other sports come up and be more competitive, but i realize that the success of our fb/mbb is probably going to help that. i would like to know where ou ranked. after all, they beat mu twice (more like mu wet the bed twice - i really thought they were better than ou) in fb, before getting dismantled in their bowl. i watched some of that game at the jai-alai place in dania beach. in the final bcs standings, vt finished 3rd, ou 4th, mu 6th, ku 8th, and the team that beat ou 48-28 was 9th.

Matt Kenton 11 years, 7 months ago

Lew's doing it right... spend money on football and basketball first. Continued success in those two sports will generate enough money to spend on all the rest.Let's see where we're at in five years. Plus, I just looked at the rankings on the NACDA website. We don't even have most of these sports. They need to average it out to points per sport, and weigh them per sport. Rifle? C'mon.

b_asinbeer 11 years, 7 months ago

KU finished 54th, not 58th. Here's the proof:'s not too bad relative to the other Universities if you consider that the ranking accounted for almost 300 schools. As for the big 12 race, we are getting up there. Slow, but steady.

RaefLafrentz45 11 years, 7 months ago

I thought that the football game was decided by 8 points. 6 if you take away the a matter of fact, didn't we have the ball last down by six?

Spencer Goff 11 years, 7 months ago

This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read on this website. Really, when you have to look to find out what the NCPDCAVEAVEAD... My care factor is limited.

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