Wednesday, June 10, 2009


June’s hot topics


Notes, more notes and a few comments while wondering how many autographs Bill Self signs annually. …

If you’re counting, Memorial Stadium will be receiving its fifth rug this summer. Back in 1970, Kansas University was in the collegiate vanguard when athletic director Wade Stinson plunked down about $240,000 to install Tartan Turf on its football field.

KU switched to AstroTurf in 1978, replaced that ersatz grass with more of the same in 1990, switched to AstroPlay in 2000 and is now opting for FieldTurf. Thus, the average shelf life of the rugs at Memorial Stadium has been 91⁄2 years.

Incidentally, KU officials almost went back to grass prior to the 2000 changeover, but technological innovations — notably the infusion of rubber granules to soften impacts — shifted their priority back to chemical carpets. …

Since the June baseball draft began in the mid-1960s, Lee Stevens is the only Lawrence high school product who has ever been selected in the first round. Stevens, a first baseman-outfielder, went to the Angels with the 22nd pick. Over the same span, only one former KU player has been a first-rounder. Can you name him? Answer later.

That’s not a typo in the University of Texas football schedule. The Longhorns really are playing at Wyoming on Sept. 12 as part of one of those increasingly popular two-for-one deals. For its trip to Laramie, Wyo., Texas will receive visits to Austin, Texas, from the Cowboys in 2010 and 2012. …

You may remember Kansas played at Wyoming back in 2003. The crowd count? A whopping 18,329. But UW officials are expecting a sellout when UT visits the Cowboys’ 30,514-seat War Memorial Stadium this fall. …

And how about Iowa State? The Cyclones will be playing at Kent State this fall. That’s significant because Kent State ranked dead last in Football Championship Subdivision attendance last season by averaging only a little more than 10,000 fans a game. …

Royals general manager Dayton Moore has declared his struggling team has no need for major changes, that the club has no problems that can’t be fixed if the current players begin to “perform at their accustomed level.” Uh, just what is their accustomed level? And who’s to say they aren’t performing at that level now? …

Remember back in 2002 when to heighten awareness of the Kansas-Missouri sports rivalry some corporate types came up with the Border War promotion, later watered down to the Border Showdown? That competition still exists, although you haven’t heard much about it lately — probably because Missouri has won five of the seven annual compilations, including the last three. …

Roger Slagle, a slender 6-foot-3 Kansas University right-handed pitcher from Larned, went to the New York Yankees with the 19th pick in the secondary phase of the 1976 draft. Slagle appeared in one major-league game, hurling two innings in relief as a September call-up by the Yankees in 1979. …

Now that the NBA Finals are under way, I’m sure you’re aware that the last game of the college basketball season was played more than nine weeks ago. …


KANSTUCKY 11 years, 10 months ago

"including the last three. …"

Too bad you couldn't make the game last year Charlie. You missed a good one.

741hawk 11 years, 10 months ago

Hey, Chuck. Putting in a new carpet now means Lou has no plans to take out the track . . . in spite of a planned new track-only facility. Why does he want to keep KU fans eight lanes from the field . . . on both sides! Consider the disadvantage in creating home field advantage. In addition, lowering the field would add appproximately 7,000 seats -- the least expensive way to add permanent seats and just the right addition to Memorial Stadium at this time.

This is very disappointing to someone who has been to great college football venues. Not one of them has a track inside!

Could ya find out why lowering the field is not in Lou's plans?

bmcmich1 11 years, 10 months ago

kanstucky - the border showdown consists of all mens and womens sports across the board, not just the football game. our non-revenue sports have not fared as well against methzou.

741 - removing that absolutely hideous and high school-esque track around the field at Memorial is most definitely on KUAC's radar screen and has been since at least the Frederick days, however it is my understanding that the mandate for removal was always attendance -- specifically, selling out the venue consistently. If the pace of selling season tickets continues like it has over the next season or two and nothing is done, then we have a legitimate gripe. During the Valesente/TA days with the Glen-o anomaly in the middle, attendance was so abysmal that there was no monetary justification to remove the track and add seats -- why ADD seats if you can't fill the ones you already have? I understand that line of thinking, however I feel stronger feelings of disgust toward that eyesore of a track. It has NO business existing at a D-1 college stadium, and over the next two years I want it gone as well. Let's just hope we keep selling out Memorial in the years to come, a feat that is easily attainable.

speedy 11 years, 10 months ago

there are several schools that have the track inside and play football too. i do not rem. but last time i checked the penn relays are still outside around the football field. there are others. if lew would get the track teams back up to the 50,60s level you would get 70,000 people for the relays weekend. how many football seats projected? think big pic. we have had greater T&F people all-americans than football all-americans. and T&F programs costs much less to operate. so a few spectators do not need to be in place to equal out the revenue. which draws the highest attendence? the olympics or the superbowl?

Chicago_JHawk 11 years, 10 months ago

I thought I read recently that the field CAN'T be lowered because of drainage issues.

FlaHawk 11 years, 10 months ago

I don't remember reading about drainage issues by removing the track and lowering the field, but I am sure that KUAD could figure out a way to fix any drainage issue with a little dinero!!

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 10 months ago

Penn is not 1-A.

This has been discussed before and I can't find the reference but I think only two or three 1-A football stadiums have a track.

Omari Miller 11 years, 10 months ago

Duke and the University of Washington are the only other FBS schools with a track in the football facility.

741hawk 11 years, 10 months ago

"There are several schools that have the track inside and play football too."

Yes, but only three Div-1 schools. Did you really want to be associated with the football programs at Washington and Duke?

I can trace the KU Relays back to the '60s and attendance NEVER exceeded 20,000, even in Wes Santee and Jim Ryan's days. Get a grip. That's why the new track-only facility will seat 10,000.

There is not a drainage issue that cannot be remedied. An engineering study commissioned by the athletic department in the late '90's showed that this stadium addition is structurally feasible. Dolph Simons, Jr. shared the three-page summary report with me.

My greatest concern is that Lou will take out the track and not lower the field. The stands will still be eight lanes away on both sides. (I've heard that Lou is concerned about security and does NOT want us fans any closer.)

PS: The FIRST expansion to the Sooner's stadium in Norman was in 1947 when they took out their track and lowered the field. Seventy-two years later and we still have a track. TEAR OUT THE TRACK!

Dirk Medema 11 years, 10 months ago

Speedy - As a former Jayhawk runner, I had been in support of keeping the track inside the stadium. The view of the hill and Campanile were part of what brought me to KU, and some of the fond memories, so it was definitely sentinmentally based. Recently though, I read that one of the challenges facing the track team and Relays was the fact that the tracks lanes (widths) no longer conform to international stds. The Relays have no chance of returning to any semblance of national or international prominence until an track is built to current stds.

As for the drainage issue, my guess is any notion of a drainage problem is simply a posting by a self-proclaimed expert. There are 2 basic concepts of hydraulic engineering: 1. Water flows downhill 2. Water can be pumped uphill

bmcmich1 - Good word. I seem to remember reading after all of the games last year that they were a sell out. Does anyone else have definite knowledge of attendance? With so much anticipation for the current team, this year should be great from an attendance stand point as well. Next year will really be the crucial test for the program. Is there life after Reesing?

It seems to me that next year we will not be nearly as high flying as this version of KU FB, but that it will be more balanced with a very solid, verteran O-line and RB's. I am also confident in Coach Mangino's ability to continue to put an increasingly competitive team on the field for a good (new) century, or 72 years, of FB.

Rock Chalk

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 10 months ago

I thought I read once that it was a problem of the depth the water table or bedrock or something troublesome like that. The trouble is I can't remember where I read it, so it might have been on this board!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.