Archive for Monday, March 30, 2009

KU wins first national debate title in 26 years

Kansas University debate team members Nate Johnson, left, and Brett Bricker led the to its first National Debate Tournament victory in 26 years.

Kansas University debate team members Nate Johnson, left, and Brett Bricker led the to its first National Debate Tournament victory in 26 years.

March 30, 2009, 10:05 p.m. Updated March 31, 2009, 1:54 a.m.


The top pair of Kansas University debaters claimed victory over Wake Forest University in the National Debate Tournament early Tuesday morning, giving KU its first tournament win in 26 years.

The duo of Brett Bricker, a Wichita senior, and Nate Johnson, a Manhattan senior, defeated Wake Forest on a 4-1 decision in the final round of the tournament, which was held in Austin, Texas.

Wake Forest won the tournament in 2008.

It was the first-ever tournament win for 18-year veteran coach Scott Harris. He led the KU debate team to third-place finishes in 1994 and 1999.

KU advanced from the "Final Four" of the tournament into the championship round on Monday night, according to Ron Johnson, Nate’s father. The KU team defeated California-Berkeley on a 3-2 decision. In the other semifinal, Wake Forest University upset Northwestern University, Johnson said.

KU also won the national title in 1954, 1970, 1976 and 1983.

Check back to for more on this story as it becomes available.


penguin 9 years, 1 month ago

No they were the #1 ranked team according to a points system that exists. They did not win the NDT last year. However, this is awesome and good luck to both the team and Coach Harris.

milehighhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

What an incredible night!

I debated for KU in college, and can't remember the time I've wanted someone to win something so badly. KU Coach Scott Harris is absolutely unbelievable. The man is brilliant, dedicated, and does not sleep at tournaments. He could not be more deserving of this, and even though he was awarded national coach of the year last year, he deserves this more than anything.

It is the most prestigious and difficult tournament in college policy debate, and while several KU teams have made it to the "final four," this is the first time in 26 years we've been in the finals.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, and congrats to Scott and the rest of the KU squad!

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

M: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument? A: I told you once. M: No you haven't. A: Yes I have. M: When? A: Just now. M: No you didn't. A: Yes I did. M: You didn't A: I did! M: You didn't! A: I'm telling you I did! M: You did not!! A: Oh, I'm sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour? M: Oh, just the five minutes. A: Ah, thank you. Anyway, I did. M: You most certainly did not. A: Look, let's get this thing clear; I quite definitely told you. M: No you did not. A: Yes I did. M: No you didn't. A: Yes I did. M: No you didn't. A: Yes I did. M: No you didn't. A: Yes I did. M: You didn't. A: Did. M: Oh look, this isn't an argument. A: Yes it is. M: No it isn't. It's just contradiction. A: No it isn't. M: It is! A: It is not. M: Look, you just contradicted me. A: I did not. M: Oh you did!! A: No, no, no. M: You did just then. A: Nonsense! M: Oh, this is futile! A: No it isn't. M: I came here for a good argument. A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument. M: An argument isn't just contradiction. A: It can be. M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. A: No it isn't. M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction. A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position. M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.' A: Yes it is! M: No it isn't! A: Yes it is! M: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes. (short pause) A: No it isn't. M: It is. A: Not at all. M: Now look. A: (Rings bell) Good Morning. M: What? A: That's it. Good morning. M: I was just getting interested. A: Sorry, the five minutes is up. M: That was never five minutes! A: I'm afraid it was. M: It wasn't. Pause A: I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to argue anymore. M: What?! A: If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes. M: Yes, but that was never five minutes, just now. Oh come on! A: (Hums) M: Look, this is ridiculous. A: I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid! M: Oh, all right. (pays money) A: Thank you. short pause M: Well? A: Well what? M: That wasn't really five minutes, just now. A: I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid. M: I just paid! A: No you didn't. M: I DID! A: No you didn't. M: Look, I don't want to argue about that. A: Well, you didn't pay. M: Aha. If I didn't pay, why are you arguing? I Got you! A: No you haven't. M: Yes I have. If you're arguing, I must have paid. A: Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time. M: Oh I've had enough of this. A: No you haven't. M: Oh Shut up.

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations Jayhawks! I think that this is parade-worthy, seriously.

Toto_the_great 9 years, 1 month ago

First of all Congrats. I can't win a debate against my kids, I couldn't imagine winning against the best of my peers. Not to be a smart-@$$, but is there going to be a sign (similar to KSU)? I think there should. I am still waiting for the KU Bowling Nat'l Champs from a few years ago

penguin 9 years, 1 month ago

The KSU national champs were also from the CEDA tournament that is a less prestigious tourney than the NDT...especially at that time when CEDA and NDT were kind of different worlds. Long story short....this is an incredible accomplishment.

temperance 9 years, 1 month ago

Go 'Hawks! This is incredibly big news.

think_about_it 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe now this team will get the kind of press it deserves. Prime Time TV?

mdfraz 9 years, 1 month ago

I had been under the impression that KU won a title last year, that it wasn't just a points system. Is that completely unfounded, or was there a tournament we won in 2008 too? It's awesome to be good in sports, and I am a huge sports fan, and that is the most visible way for a university to get bragging rights. However, this demonstrates that KU just isn't sports. You can get a fantastic education here, especially if you want to push yourself. Being good at everything, academic or athletic, is clearly what we should strive for. Congrats guys.

CHiPsJr 9 years, 1 month ago

Mdfraz, you might be thinking of CEDA last year. Kansas made it to finals but lost to Towson State.

KU debate has been every bit as successful historically as KU basketball. Good to see the program getting respect. Congrats to the team, and to Scott Harris for his first national title!

ronwell_dobbs 9 years, 1 month ago

Take that, Emporia State!

I always get SO jealous rolling into Emporia and seeing them so smugly proclaiming their championship debate titles.

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