Tuesday, September 8, 2015

K-State president’s letter to band


The following is an electronic letter that Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz issued to members of the K-State Marching Band on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Sept. 8, 2015

Dear K-State Pride of Wildcat Land Members:

Let me offer my congratulations on receiving the Sudler Trophy as recognition for many years of sustained excellence as one of the best bands in the nation. I look forward to celebrating together as a Wildcat Family during Band Day on Sept. 19 as you are recognized for your hard work and dedication to excellence as national band champions.

All of you worked very hard to put on a spectacular show for our home football opener against the University of South Dakota. As a longtime band parent, I appreciate the technical requirements and practice time to do the live animation while performing. It is unfortunate that the band has been criticized on social media for a portion of the show which was taken completely out of context. As many of you know, I love social media; however, it is also an opportunity for people to post hurtful and uninformed comments. I appreciate your dedication to excellence and ask that you simply ignore these comments.

I also very much appreciate the continued leadership of Dr. Frank Tracz as our director of bands. Dr. Tracz brings a passion for the K-State Marching Band to everything he does — which is what makes him such an integral and meaningful part of the K-State experience. The Sudler Trophy honor truly stands on his shoulders.

The Big 12 Conference has a clear policy on sportsmanship, and our conference commissioner felt that the use of another university’s mascot was inappropriate and did not uphold the spirit of sportsmanship that we strive for in our conference. Because of this, I have put in place several self-imposed sanctions, including a $5,000 fine, a review of all band programs by members of K-State Athletics and the Office of Student Life, and a game-day suspension of the director of bands for our game on Nov. 28 against the University of Kansas.

Ultimately, as president, I am responsible for setting the tone for sportsmanship at K-State. As we continue to rise in national prominence we must be more mindful of how we speak of others, including our longtime rivals. In the future, my public speaking — and that of my fellow administrators — will be focused entirely around the successes we have at K-State and will not include comments or jokes about any other Big 12 schools.

I am sure that you have questions and concerns — and welcome your comments at any time. Please feel free to email me at and I will be happy to answer any question. I also will meet with you this week after practice to answer any questions that you may have in person.

I ask each of you — as members of the Wildcat Family — to put these issues behind us and do what all of you do best: Showcasing the excellence and proud tradition that are part of the Wildcat Way.

Go Cats!



John Randall 7 years, 2 months ago

No, it certainly smells of the political tactics practiced by the leading candidate for Democratic Presidential Nominee.

You are on track if you if you are waiting for Coach Snyder to endorse today's condemnation of the 'national championship' performance by the [often-maligned] Journal-World columnist Dan Keegan.

So far, the properly beloved Messiah of K-State football (and the Athletic Director) are noticeably absent from the comments I have read. It would be perfectly appropriate for these two to announce their resignation pending the resignation of the band director, all band administrators, and the K-State Chancellor.

I have been very supportive of the rejuvenation (and methods) of K-State Football from the league championship of 1936 into a perennial 20+year residence near the top of one of the best and most competitive conferences on the national scene. It would be shameful to ignore the shameful exonoration of tag-on claims of excellence by such a PERFORMANCE MALFUNCTION as was witnessed in Manhattan last week.

Lucas Town 7 years, 2 months ago

I am guessing as far as Bill Snyder, John Currie and William Shatner are concerned it was the Starship Enterprise that crashed into the Jayhawk mascot.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 2 months ago

For a school that continually talks about good sportsmanship, the administration seems totally incapable of showing true, heartfelt sportsmanship and instead tries its best to skirt the fringes of sportsmanship while hanging on to its pride by issuing self-serving non-apologies that are meant for their own fans. Sorry, but this is a massive fail and is pretty embarrassing in its own right.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

A very immature response from the leader of an immature school and organization. KSU will never rise in prominence under Schutz's leadership.

Good God .... " ...unfortunate that the band has been criticized on social media for a portion of the show which was taken completely out of context."

Because of Schutz's response, the entire matter needs to be taken up with the Kansas Board of Regents. The KSU band has insulted of the University of Kansas has taken on global recognition. I have received emails from all parts of the world from business associates about this matter. It's clear KSU on their own, under this leadership will continue to be a huge embarrassment to the State of Kansas.

John Randall 7 years, 2 months ago

I concur emphatically, Suzi and Ron.

Did you miss the similarity of the "get out the BIGGEST LIE first and loudest" by Schultz? Remind anyone else of Benghazi?

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Benghazi, IRS, Email Server, Immigration, Health name it. Lies, misleading statements, half-truths from government, academic institutions, wall street... It's even creeping into senior levels of our military.

This kind of dishonesty that permeates all levels of our society needs to stop. Somebody has to stand for decency and honor.

Jayson Hawk 7 years, 2 months ago

You make it sound like a continuation of the Bush/Cheney era.

Lucas Town 7 years, 2 months ago

I thought it was funny after I watched it, now it's our turn to return the jab! I could see how it resembled the starship enterprise, but they clearly needed much more practice to pull that off. How did they win the Sudler Trophy again?

Patrick Bryant 7 years, 2 months ago

Very interesting that the President admitted to telling jokes at the expense of other schools. (In the future, my public speaking — and that of my fellow administrators — will be focused entirely around the successes we have at K-State and will not include comments or jokes about any other Big 12 schools) Why would a President do this and why would anyone else at KSU not make jokes like this if the President is doing it? Lead by example.

Clara Westphal 7 years, 2 months ago

How crass but then it is K-State.

The K-State band should not be allowed to come to Lawrence for the KU-K-State game with or without their director.

Wayne Smith 7 years, 2 months ago

"As we continue to rise in national prominence" What the heck, K-st has won one bowl game the last decade. Never played for a national championship, Bill Snyder is 4-30 vs top 10 teams and never won a BCS bowl game. K-st can't get their games on TV like last week, K-st basketball is dead, K-st doesn't even have regional prominence.

Micky Baker 7 years, 2 months ago

They have a top notch live stock judging team.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 2 months ago

It was a joke people, get over it. Far more clever than our kickoff chant.

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