KU football adds to slate

Kansas University’s football team has added Southern Mississippi to its 2009 and 2010 schedules, the athletic department announced Tuesday.

It will be the first time the two schools will meet in football.

Southern Mississippi, a member of Conference-USA, finished 7-6 in 2007 and lost to Cincinnati in the Papajohns.com Bowl. The Golden Eagles have a new coach, Larry Fedora, who was Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator last season.

The Jayhawks will play host to the Golden Eagles on Sept. 26, 2009. They will then travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a Sept. 18, 2010 game.

“Even as far out as ’09, which isn’t far away, there’s not a lot of (schools) that match up,” said KU associate athletic director Larry Keating, who is in charge of scheduling. “There was no secret to it. We were both looking for a series for those weekends.”

Kansas also announced the addition of New Mexico State to its 2010 schedule. The Aggies will travel to Lawrence for a Sept. 25, 2010 game.

The agreements have chipped away at KU’s future nonconference vacancies. Besides USM, Kansas also will play Duke in 2009 (in Durham, N.C.) and 2010 (in Lawrence). A four-game series with Rice – two home, two away – is scheduled to start in 2010.

As of right now, Kansas has two openings for the 2009 schedule. Championship Subdivision teams (formerly Division I-AA) could fill one of those voids, though it’s not a given.

KU’s 2008 nonconference slate has been completed for almost a year now, with home games against Florida International, Louisiana Tech and Sam Houston State and a road game at South Florida highlighting the first month of the season.


Grant promoted: KU head football trainer Murphy Grant has been promoted to director of sports medicine at KU, it was announced Tuesday. Grant will continue being the football team’s head trainer, a role he’s occupied since 2006.

Grant replaces William Dent, who resigned late last year.


Preferred walk-on: Rivals.com is reporting that Jordan Fee out of Hutchinson will join KU’s football team as a preferred walk-on.

Fee, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound linebacker, was a member of three Class 6A state championship teams at Hutchinson High.


New leader: KU graduate Kathy Saunders was named chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, the sponsoring agency of the Cotton Bowl.

Saunders’ day job is as vice president and general manager of KDFW television in Dallas. She graduated from KU’s school of journalism. As the CBAA’s CEO, she will coordinate all facets of the CBAA’s business and oversee the Cotton Bowl’s move to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium after next year’s game.

The Cotton Bowl traditionally matches up a Big 12 and SEC team on Jan. 1.