Friday, September 16, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Missouri town wants KU to get rid of Jayhawk mascot; Kansas State’s Rhodes scholarship claim a little misleading; prices increase for colleges across the country


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Oh, Osceola, Mo. Where to begin?

As reported by the Columbia Daily Tribune, the Board of Aldermen in the town of about 850 people decided they ought to pass a resolution. They say that KU ought to drop the name “Jayhawk,” and stop associating itself with “a group of domestic terrorists.”

It harkens back, apparently, to a Civil War-era raid that leveled the town in 1861, led by U.S. Sen. Jim Lane and his band of “Jayhawkers.” The hilarious resolution also calls on residents of the town to stop capitalizing “kansas” and “kU” as “neither is a proper name or a proper place.”

Osceola resident Rick Reed brought the resolution before the board.

“I don’t expect them do anything,” he told the newspaper. “They are so arrogant and uppity.”

And here are some Heard on the Hill mad props to Jill Jess, a KU spokeswoman, who offered this dandy response to the whole mess:

“A Jayhawk is a blue bird with a red head and a big, yellow beak that wears boots. It would be hard to confuse it with anyone with terrorist intent, though we admit we have been terrorizing the Tigers on the basketball court for some time. Tigers have been known to kill people. Bears, too.”

Um, Osceola? If you’re going to start changing mascot names, I can think of a few reasons you might want to start with your high school.

• A tipster (whose name I am reasonably certain is not the “Abraham Lincoln” that was on his email) sent me some stuff yesterday, and mentioned that he was concerned with the way Kansas State University markets itself to potential students.

I said I was largely concerned with KU matters, but he did bring something up that’s always kind of made me scratch my head about Kansas State. So if you’ll forgive me, I’ll go ahead and get this off my chest.

They tout they are “second in the nation among all 500 state universities” since 1986 in Rhodes scholar awardees.

Here it is, in case you don’t believe me.

Kansas State students have won 13 Rhodes scholarships, But here’s the thing, as the Rhodes website points out. Rhodes scholarships aren’t a national competition. Until just a few years ago, your odds of becoming a Rhodes scholar varied from state to state. Your chances in a state like Kansas were much better than your chances in a state with a whole bunch of colleges, like Pennsylvania, for example. So historical national comparisons are a little silly.

In case you’re wondering, KU has had 25 Rhodes scholars, and the university’s typical line in press releases in recent years has been “KU students have received more Rhodes scholarships than at all other Kansas colleges and universities combined.”

However, Kansas State can legitimately claim that it has, since 1986 (when it started winning scholarships at a higher rate), won more scholarships than KU. The purple people are winning in that category, eight to four.

• Colleges across the country are paying more for, well, just about everything, it seems.

The Higher Education Price Index — a kind of inflation rate for colleges — went up this week, to 2.3 percent, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The newspaper reported that utility costs (tied to oil and gas prices) rose sharply, going from minus-9.5 percent last year to 4 percent this year.

The highest-weighted factor, faculty salaries, remained steady.

This is a closely watched figure, and schools use it a lot. The Kansas Board of Regents, for example, is asking for an increase in state funding for schools that corresponds with the rate.

As is frequently the case (and I’m sure university leaders love to remind state legislators of this), the HEPI rose faster than the Consumer Price Index this year.

• The best way to get Heard on the Hill mad props is to submit your tips to


Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 1 month ago

the University of Kansas is a pretty darn good school...across the board. we're on the AAU list....i mean, the grapes have to promote itself with SOMETHING.

as far as Osceola MO goes.....we're Jayhawks brother. pure and simple. Every crazed Moo fan promotes Quantrill as some sort of Roman God because of what his outlaw group did to Lawrence KS.

passions ran pretty darn high during the abolitionist era...and that's why Kansas was founded in the 1st a free state. Yes it got ugly....lots of torture and death....but the Jayhawk name will go on as long as a higher education institution continues from Lawrence.

youowethehawks 10 years, 1 month ago

I always thought that the Jayhawk was a cute way to avoid putting the silhouette of a family of slave-staters cowering at gun point near a washed out creek bed on our school flag.

Ms. Jess is right, the bird is better, but she's wrong about confusing the Jayhawk with the ruthless killer that it is. One man's freedom fighter is another slavery-sympathizer's terrorist.

Our football uni's should have red legs and Big Jay should carry a musket, a.k.a. Beecher's Bible.

Hammertoe 10 years, 1 month ago

K-State went 13 -1 versus KU in all sports last year. Only win for KU is a bball win at Allen , a gimme game every year.

HawkTronic 10 years, 1 month ago

I know! And it makes me so angry and embarrassed that KU has only had since October, 2010 to prove ourselves to our cousins in Manhattan. If only there were a way to keep track of events prior to that! Damn!

Jared Grillot 10 years, 1 month ago

Good lord almighty, could you please either post something else or leave? Seriously. You have only one post to copy and paste, and I realize that redundancy is your only option, but really, have an original thought so as to contribute to the discussion of the topic at hand, or go away.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 1 month ago

But we were so close in Women's Ping-Pong. You're so toast this year, we've got new paddles.

HawkTronic 10 years, 1 month ago

Item 1: Did not the 19th century Osceola ruffians call themselves the "Tigers? Item 2: Typical KSU selective history. Much like posturing KSU football based on only 10 years in the 1990s and ignoring the KU-dominated big picture or the recent re-equalization of the series.

Sam Constance 10 years, 1 month ago

Item 2, Sub-clause 1a: "recent re-equalization of the series has brought the overall head-to-head record to 64–38–5, in favor of Kansas.

Any more equal, and it might ACTUALLY be equal. :-)

HawkTronic 10 years, 1 month ago

Good post. I meant to demonstrate that recent years (past 8) have been pretty equal. No question the overall series is not equal.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 1 month ago

I hope this isn't home of the famous Oscelola Cheese place I always detour to on my way to my families in Springfiled, MO. If that is the case and Oscelola cheese is apart of this ignorance than................No soup for you!

Jim Pendleton 10 years, 1 month ago

I hate to say this, but this is the home of the famous Osceola Cheese place. Perhaps a small bit of good news here is that the Cheese store is technically outside of the Osceola city limits, about a mile and a half north of the town on MO Highway 13. Place is always packed.

I have been going to this place for as long as I can remember, going back to when by Grandparents lived at Table Rock, and today to my many trips to Branson, Springfield, and Lake of the Ozarks. Personal favorites are Hickory Smoked Cheddar, Cheddar Jack, and String Cheese!

I doubt I will ever stop going there, hard to find really outstanding cheese you know. Per another suggestion on these posts, I will simply have to wear my Jayhawk gear and carry a musket in with me in the future. I would like to point out that I have seen many a Jayhawk in this store over the years.

I would say that this is at least one good thing in Missouri, but then I remember that someone would quote the line from the movie Outlaw Josie Wales that is always played at Allen Field House by the old lady - I can't imagine anything good coming west out of know the rest, Rock Chalk!!

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 1 month ago

“A Jayhawk is a blue bird with a red head and a big, yellow beak that wears boots. It would be hard to confuse it with anyone with terrorist intent, though we admit we have been terrorizing the Tigers on the basketball court for some time. Tigers have been known to kill people. Bears, too.”

That is funny. Well done!

Funhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Truth is stranger than fiction. Kansas and Missouri history is fun. Regarding the September 23, 1861 destruction of Osceola, Missouri, here is some quick history:
Regarding James Lane, he came from Indiana to the new U.S. territory of Kansas in 1855. Lane was a politician and a member of the military in Indiana. He became one of Kansas' new senators. I believe Lane was aligned with the Topeka Constitution, although I cannot quickly find my sources. The Topeka Constitution was voted in by Kansas citizens and it outlawed slavery. Not only outlawing slavery in Kansas, the Topeka Constitution outlawed any person descended from Africans from traveling through or living within the borders of Kansas. The Topeka Constitution was not approved by Washington. Lane was eventually accused of "financial irregularities." Lane committed suicide by gun in Leavenworth in 1866. James Lane was a wild man. A Kansas county is named after him, along with some other places in Kansas named Lane. Lane was called a Jayhawker, the new term being derogatory at that time.

omng392 10 years, 1 month ago

Here's an idea for our University, how about getting all of our engineering, architecture and agriculture students together to figure out a way to implement solar, wind, and bio-fuel technology to reduce our dependence on coal or gas to run the university? I'm sure that some bright young students could figure out a way to improve the following • efficiency of solar panels, • invent/improve the current design of lighting, • mount solar panels on top of the campus buildings that are ascetically pleasing • Improve the efficiency of the campus buildings themselves • Implement bio-fuels to offset the need of other carbon based fuels

This would bring national exposure to our university and reduce cost. If the football weren't improving as much as they have I would have suggested setting up a solar farm in the stadium but Gill has things going the right way, so I guess nix that idea...

Sam Constance 10 years, 1 month ago

Hey Osceola:

We'll change our mascot to something other than Jayhawk as soon as you are no longer a former pro-slavery state.

Displayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Excellent point about Osceola's high school mascot. That is classic "The pot calling the kettle black"! I would imagine with the economy being the way it is, that the city of Osceola would have much more important matters to attend to. If I was a resident of that city, I would want to know why the elected official was wasting official city time and business on matters in another state that they had no control of. And apparently, MisSOURi was focused more on Kansas than on finding a reputable head basketball coach. (You can't spell MisSOURi without there being something SOUR in the middle of it!)

waywardJay 10 years, 1 month ago

For a city of less than a thousand people with a rather well known draw such as their Cheese. I imagine that Osceola is functioning pretty well considering the circumstances. I would worry about some of the other lesser known Missouri towns like Knob Lick, Tightwad and Novelty. They don't have an non-profit organization selling their goods.

KJRFC 10 years, 1 month ago

Here's a better idea for our University, how about getting all of our engineering and military science students together to figure out a way to...WIPE FIZZOU AND COLUMBIA OFF THE FACE OF THE MAP!!!

jartiv 10 years, 1 month ago

Terrorists??? It was a civil war!! There were two sides, the confederates, and the union!

If anything, it was the Confederates who were terrorizing Missouri because the state had formally voted to stay with the Union. It was former Governer Price who betrayed his own state by marching against his own people. And another point, it was PROBABLY the pressure that Kansas Jayhawkers put on the Confederate rebels and their strongholds in Western Missouri, that kept those same Rebels from ransacking other Missouri towns like say, Columbia, MO who was defended by the pro-Union Fighting Tigers of Columbia. You're welcome.

kranny 10 years, 1 month ago

Somebody or some people in Osceola, MO. need to find a hobby. Way too much time on their idle, grubby, mizzou hands.

Funhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Next Friday is the 150th Anniversary of the murders and burning of Osceola. Kansas senator Jim Lane was there and instigated the domestic terrorism. When the Missourians subsequently murdered and burned Lawrence, they yelled throughout the Lawrence streets, "Remember Osceola!" Jim Lane was living in Lawrence, Quantrill's gang was looking for him, and he survived by hiding in the cornfields on the edge of town. Other survivors were also hiding in the cornfields on a big hill called Razorback Ridge, now known as the campus of KU. Jim Lane committed suicide several years later.

texashawk10 10 years, 1 month ago

Long live the Border War!! Both sides did things that today would be frowned upon by most people not biased in the matter. There were a lot of people on both sides of war that today would be considered terrorists for the tactics they used against the opposing side. If someone's going to suggest changing the nickname of a university, you might want to look at Ole Miss and the connotations of their nickname which is much more obvious to an outsider than the Jayhawk or Tiger is at KU or MU.

CrodieBroyle 10 years, 1 month ago

looks like it time for another Osceola raid... Haha kidding of course

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I guess I've always misunderstood that - I thought it was " Roadkill " scholars.

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 1 month ago

We'll change it as soon as Osceola residents open a history book and learn that their beloved tigers are also named after a group that practiced "terrorist" tactics.

rockemchalkemrobots 10 years, 1 month ago

Citizens of Osceola,

The day I take marching orders from a bunch of cheese-making, slavery-loving, hypocrites, will be the day I pull a James Lane.

That will be all,


Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 1 month ago

This Just In:

ASPCA and PETA are investigating the University of Missouri for alleged animal cruelty claims. The alleged cruelty is from students so obsessed with being part of The Antlers that they have taken to wearing antlers on their heads at sporting events. Real antlers or fake? The truth will be revealed

(allegations are contrived and do not represent any such claims in reality)

Beermit 10 years, 1 month ago

Since that Reed fellow likes to do Civil war reenactment, I say we round up a group of modern day Jayhawkers and march on the town for a reenactment of the massacre, but with a twist! The massacre will be one of basketball! Because, as our gal said, we've been terrorizing those Tigers up and down the court for decades ;-)

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Someone should come up with a saying that represents how we feel.

Something like - Muck Fizzou.

Dan Harris 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't give a rats ass what anyone from from that dysfunctional state thinks, FU%K MIZZU!!!!

miseryh8r 10 years, 1 month ago

Hammertoe is a d-bag....typical purple Peter puffer....bill Snyder & kstate football = old year doesn't erase decades of crappy teams

As for Misery, they can sit on it. Nothing in the world irritates me more than those short-sighted, dimwitted homers......they are quite simply, the worst

Good luck in Atlanta....rock chalk 3-0

jayhawk4life59 10 years, 1 month ago

And MIZZOU is a proper place??? Its not a state or doesnt make live in missouri...not mizzou...go do some more meth.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.