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Archive for Saturday, June 19, 1999

S BASKETBALL FIRST, FOOTBALL LAST IN ATTENDANCE

June 19, 1999

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Notes and quotes while wondering who would have ever believed Phil Jackson and Keith Jackson would come out of retirement on the same day "

The numbers are in and it's official. Kansas ranked first in the Big 12 in men's basketball attendance and last in football attendance. KU's average basketball crowd in 1998-99 was 16,277. That's just 23 under capacity. "

Come to find out the 22-seat chancellor's suite in the new Memorial Stadium press box will be a revenue producer after all. That suite's $50,000 annual price tag will be footed by the Kansas University Endowment Association. Thus, all 36 suites will generate $1.18 million per year toward retiring the construction debt. "

If you're keeping track, Kansas won only one Big 12 Conference championship -- men's golf -- during the 1998-99 school year. KU tied for second in men's basketball, and posted thirds in three women's sports -- swimming, basketball and tennis. "

Retired Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart, asked if he missed having a farewell tour around the league next season, said it to the Columbia Tribune. "Definitely not. I don't need any rocking chairs or baked hams " or motorcycles." "

What kind of reception would Stewart have received in Allen Fieldhouse if Kansas fans had known he was retiring? We'll never know, of course, but I suspect the famed "Sit down, Norm" chant would have been replaced by "Goodbye, Norm." "

Just when I thought everybody was tearing out their artificial turf and installing natural grass, along comes Iowa State, which has torn out its grass practice fields and replaced them with turf. Why? So the Cyclones can become accustomed to road games they'll play on turf. "

Meanwhile, Colorado has become the latest Big 12 school to switch back to grass in its football stadium. Folsom Field will have SportGrass, a blend of bluegrasses grown in a synthetic, fibered mesh in a heavy mix of sand. It's the same stuff the Colorado Rockies play on. "

Many of the nation's college basketball recruiting services have listed their arbitrary rankings. Guess which school appears to be the consenus No. 1 in the Big 12. Nope, it isn't Kansas. Would you believe Nebraska? Danny Nee recruited six players, four from the juco ranks. One of the four is George Mazyck, a 6-foot-8 center who started at Missouri, then transferred to Coffeyville CC. "

If you have a daughter between the ages of 6 and 11, consider purchasing a copy of "You Can Be a Woman Basketball Player." Former Kansas basketball standout Tamecka Dixon, now with the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, is co-author. It's a bargain at only seven bucks in softcover. "

Kansas' struggling baseball program suffered a blow when Brody Lynn, a signee out of Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, was drafted earlier this month and opted to turn pro. Lynn was selected in the 15th round by the Cleveland Indians. A two-time all-stater, Lynn hit .444 this spring. Lynn is a third baseman-catcher. "

Two of Kansas' first three football games will be televised -- on Aug. 28 at Notre Dame (NBC) and Sept. 18 at Colorado (ABC). Other Kansas TV possibilities are Oct. 9 at Kansas State, Oct. 16 at Texas A&M and the Oct. 23 Missouri game at Memorial Stadium. The Big 12 office will make an official announcement about its early season TV games later this month. "

Speaking of KU football, quarterback Zac Wegner, who suffered a broken thumb on his throwing hand late in spring drills, has had the cast removed and is rehabbing. "

Fitness guru Lynn Allen, wife of KU football coach Terry Allen, won't be in Boulder for the Kansas-Colorado football game on Sept. 18. Instead, she'll be competing in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. The swim portion will be the 1.5 miles between the former federal pen and the San Francisco wharf. "

Canadian Football League camps opened this week and perennial All-CFL linebacker Willie Pless is wearing a new uniform. Released by the Edmonton Eskimos last winter, the former Kansas University standout signed with Saskatchewan in March. This will be the 14th CFL season for Pless, a lock for the CFL Hall of Fame. "

Only one other former Jayhawk -- Chris Perez -- is listed on the preseason roster of a CFL team. Perez is an offensive tackle for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. "

-- Chuck Woodling's phone message number is 832-7147. His e-mail address is cwoodling@ljworld.com.

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